Castro is storming toward presidential victory in Honduras – 台北時報

Honduran presidential candidate Xiomara Castro headed for a landslide win in Sunday’s election, declaring victory yesterday as supporters danced outside her offices to celebrate the left’s return to power 12 years after her husband was ousted in a coup.
Castro, 62, has pledged to tax the rich, overhaul the nation’s “failed neoliberal model” and consider whether to end the nation’s alliance with Taiwan.
The election, set to give Honduras its first female president, seemed to have run smoothly, a contrast to four years ago, when a close outcome led to a contested result and deadly protests after widespread allegations of irregularities.
Photo: Bloomberg
With half the ballots counted, Castro, the wife of former Honduran president Manuel Zelaya, held a nearly 20-point lead over Nasry Asfura, the capital’s mayor and ruling National Party hopeful, who won 34 percent, according to a preliminary tally yesterday.
Jubilant celebrations broke out at Castro’s campaign headquarters as the vote count poured in and her lead held up. The offices of Asfura’s ruling conservative National Party were deserted.
A self-proclaimed democratic socialist in a country where few women hold public office, Castro won support of a broad swathe of Hondurans tired of corruption and the concentration of power that grew under the National Party.
“We have turned back authoritarianism,” she told supporters late on Sunday, surrounded by her Libre Party faithful, aides and family, including her husband Zelaya, who was ousted when business and military elites allied against him, ushering in a dozen years of National Party rule.
Depending on her policy choices, Castro could reverse a weakening of the Honduran justice system that has benefited corrupt and criminal groups, a trend seen across Central America in recent years.
She has promised to enlist the help of the UN to strengthen the fight against corruption. She vows to legalize abortion in some cases. She might end diplomatic ties with Taipei in favor of Beijing, an issue of concern to Washington.
In Taipei, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said the ministry has been in touch with the presidential candidates, as well as their key aides and advisers.
The ministry has been carefully following the election and is confident that the outcome would not have a major effect on Honduras’ foreign affairs, he said, adding that regardless of the outcome it would be good for Honduras’ diplomatic relationship with Taiwan.
“There won’t likely be any problems,” he said, adding that the ministry would continue to watch developments in the election.
Honduras is one of the 15 remaining countries that has full official diplomatic relations with Taiwan rather than with the People’s Republic of China.
Additional reporting by CNA and Bloomberg
‘UNPRECEDENTED’: Taiwan’s envoy said that official wording framing Taiwan-China issues as not about unification or independence counters the narrative Beijing wants Use of the phrase “democratic Taiwan” by Germany’s new coalition government in official document shows that Taiwan-China issues are not about “independence” against “unification,” but about democracy against authoritarianism, Representative to Germany Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉) said yesterday. Germany’s Social Democratic Party, Free Democratic Party and the Greens — known as the “traffic light coalition” for their colors — on Wednesday inked a coalition agreement following elections on Sept. 26. The agreement, a blueprint for their governance for the next four years, mentions “Taiwan,” which is unprecedented, showing that the new German government is paying close attention to cross-strait peace and supports Taiwan’s
BIDEN NOD: A China watcher said that the inclusion of Taiwan is notable, as it is the only democratic state on the list that Washington does not officially recognize Minister Without Portfolio Audrey Tang (唐鳳) and Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) are to attend the US-led Summit for Democracy on Dec. 9 and 10, the government said yesterday, after US President Joe Biden announced the list of guests for the virtual event. The US Department of State on Tuesday announced a list of 110 invited participants, including Taiwan, Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Japan and the UK. China and Russia were not invited, and Beijing expressed anger at the decision to invite Taiwan. The summit is to revolve around three key themes: Defending against authoritarianism, addressing and fighting
China said it would punish businesses and political donors with links to individuals supporting Taiwanese independence after it fined Taiwanese conglomerate Far Eastern Group (遠東集團). “Businesses and financial sponsors associated with supporters of Taiwan independence will be penalized according to law,” Taiwan Affairs Office spokeswoman Zhu Fenglian (朱鳳蓮) told reporters on Monday, according to a statement from her agency. Zhu said that backers of independence undermine cross-strait relations and risk instability in the region. Zhu made the remark as she responded to a question about whether the punishment Far Eastern received earlier on Monday was connected to China’s efforts to sanction Taiwanese
‘BADGE OF HONOR’: Lithuanian lawmaker Dovile Sakaliene, who is on China’s travel ban list, said delegation members joked that they would be joining her on it soon A delegation led by the chairman of the Lithuanian Parliamentary Group for Relations with Taiwan yesterday arrived in Taipei to participate in a conference on democracy later this week. The group, led by Matas Maldeikis, a Lithuanian lawmaker and an outspoken critic of China, touched down at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 6:18am yesterday. Maldeikis said at the airport that he expected the trip to enhance understanding between Taiwan and Lithuania after cooperation between the two sides took a big step forward this past year. “This trip will be another step in understanding each other because we are dealing with the same challenges,”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *