Lobo leads in Honduran presidential election count

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Porfirio Lobo of the Honduran opposition National Party leads the country's presidential election, the Central Election Commission said on Monday.

Porfirio Lobo of the Honduran opposition National Party leads the country's presidential election, the Central Election Commission said on Monday.

With 61.86 % of ballot papers counted, the 61-year-old opposition leader had 55.9% of the vote, the commission said, citing preliminary results.

Lobo graduated from People's Friendship University in Moscow during the Soviet era, and has a taekwondo black belt.

Polling stations closed at 5:00 p.m. local time on Sunday (11:00 GMT), with voting extended by an hour to give more people the chance to vote.

Manuel Zelaya, the internationally recognized president who was ousted in the summer, called for a boycott of the election, which he described as "farce and fraud.". His supporters said the vote should be considered invalid, saying only a third of the electorate cast ballots.

Neither Zelaya, whose one term was due to expire, nor interim leader Roberto Micheletti was among the five candidates competing for the top position amid the ongoing political crisis in Honduras.

Zelaya supporters openly vowed to disrupt the vote because both Lobo and Elvin Santos belong to the two main parties that voted overwhelmingly in the parliament to support Zelaya's ouster.

The de facto government said the elections are the only way to overcome the political crisis.

Many countries and international bodies have warned they would not recognize election results if the Honduran polls are held under Micheletti's presidency. The interim leader announced on Wednesday he was temporarily stepping down to "guarantee free, spontaneous and transparent" elections.

The United States and several Latin American countries have announced they will recognize the results.

President Zelaya was bundled out of Honduras on June 28 by the military, acting on instructions from the Supreme Court and parliament, over efforts to seek an unconstitutional second presidential term. He was flown to Costa Rica, and his place was taken by Micheletti, the parliamentary speaker.

Talks to end the crisis have so far failed even though the sides signed a U.S.-brokered accord, and began to form a national unity and reconciliation government. Zelaya and his supporters later quit the agreement and were not present when Micheletti formed the reconciliation government, saying that their main demand - to reinstate Zelaya ahead of national elections - had not been met.

BUENOS AIRES, November 30 (RIA Novosti)

 

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