Dec 1, 2021 - World

Honduras elects first female president

Xiomara Castro, then-Presidential Candidate of the Libertad y Refundacion (Libre) Party, celebrates during general elections on November 28, 2021 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
Honduran President-elect Xiomara Castro, of the Libertad y Refundacion (Libre) Party, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on Sunday. Photo: Inti Ocon/Getty Images

Former Honduras first lady Xiomara Castro is set to become the country's first female president, after the ruling party conceded defeat in the country's elections on Tuesday night, per AP.

Why it matters: The democratic socialist and her Libre Party have broken a 12-year run for the conservative National Party, which U.S. prosecutors alleged fostered a "narco-state," note Axios Latino's Marina E. Franco and Russell Contreras.

Details: The National Party's Tegucigalpa Mayor Nasry Asfura said in a statement that he had congratulated Castro "personally," with about half the votes counted, AP reports.

  • Castro had a 53% share of the votes and Asfura 34%, with 52% of the ballots counted, according to the National Electoral Council, which has 30 days to declare a winner from the day of the election.

What they're saying: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken congratulated Castro soon after Asfura conceded the election.

  • "The United States congratulates the people of Honduras on their election and Xiomara Castro on her historic victory as Honduras’ first female president," Blinken said in a statement. "We look forward to working with the next government of Honduras."

The big picture: Castro will succeed President Juan Orlando Hernández, who's been embroiled in accusations of electoral fraud since the 2017 vote and could face the U.S. justice system after he leaves office in January, Franco and Contreras write.

  • Honduras has essentially been in turmoil practically since 2009, when her husband, then-president Manuel Zelaya, was ousted in a coup over a disagreement with Congress.
  • The country is in the grip of growing unemployment and a shrinking economy amid rising violence and entrenched crime, with officials accused of rampant corruption and of close ties to drug traffickers, per Franco and Contreras.
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