Public statement about the current electoral situation in Honduras
Transparency International’s chapter in Honduras, the Association for a More Just Society (ASJ), issues the following statements to the people of Honduras, government authorities, political parties, and the international community in light of ongoing events relating to the electoral process in Honduras:
TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY. The Supreme Electoral Tribunal (SET) must act transparently and be accountable for its actions, by granting full disclosure and access to information to all actors involved in the electoral process, in particular the Honduran public. In order to assure transparency and accountability, the SET needs to:
- Upload all tally sheets to its online portal, indicating the polling station, voting center, municipality and department for each tally sheet;
- Explain the methodology used for the digital tabulation of all the tally sheets, as well as the quality controls implemented;
- Publish the list of inconsistent tally sheets and the reasons to exclude them from the general results;
- Explain any obstacles and/or key incidents met by the SET in presenting voting results, from Sunday 26 November until the moment when the final results are published, in order to generate confidence among the population.
EXPEDITED PROCESSING OF COMPLAINTS: The SET should guarantee mechanisms to receive and respond to complaints about any element related to partial or complete results of the election process, assuring the legal recourse that the law grants to affected parties. By responding promptly and fairly to these claims, the SET will contribute to the legitimacy and legality of the electoral results.
BALLOT RECOUNT: The SET should prepare for a potential recount and validation of ballots where necessary, in order to dispel doubts, correct inconsistencies, and otherwise validate the electoral results and guarantee the satisfaction of all who participated in the election. If a recount is called, it should be carried out in the presence of delegates of different political parties, national and international observers, civil society organizations, and the general population, and transmitted live through various media outlets.
ELECTORAL REFORMS: The current political and electoral crisis is a consequence of the lack of long over-due reforms that have not been addressed by the Honduran political class, and that now generate social uncertainty and political instability, placing international attention once again on Honduras as a fragile and unstable nation that requires the support of external actors to solve its internal conflicts. Changing the current situation will require commitment from the Honduran political class to adopt a profound structural reform to the electoral system. Among other elements, this reform should:
- Develop an open, inclusive and transparent dialogue with diverse political, economic and social actors, in order to reach an agreement to change the legal and institutional framework of the electoral system;
- Depoliticize, modernize, and professionalize the SET and the different temporary electoral organisms to guarantee independence, efficiency and effective fraud prevention mechanisms. These efforts must include limitations on undue political influence on the SET, on the polling stations workers, and throughout the electoral process;
- Depoliticize the entities responsible for the voter registry in order to avoid manipulation in the delivery of identity cards, inconsistencies in the electoral census, or any political bias that could influence election results;
- Define a transparent and democratic process to resolve the issue of presidential reelection. If reelection is ratified, regulations, procedures and clear sanctions should be established by the National Congress to assure political balance, including term limits, restrictions on the incumbent presidents seeking reelection, as well as ethical and responsible management of public resources, among others;
- Strengthen the mechanisms to investigate campaign financing for candidates and political parties by assigning economic, human, and technological resources to the Political Finance, Transparency and Investigation Unit of the SET and by granting it greater autonomy to prevent undue political influence from third parties.
ASJ reiterates its commitment to Honduran democracy and to strengthening the rule of law, in order to ensure respect of the popular will and the full enjoyment of our individual liberties as citizens.
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