After a wild four years in left field Honduras has taken a sharp right turn. Not only did Hondurans vote for the ´cachurecos´(Nationalist Party) for the presidency in which Pepe Lobo is now the president elect with a huge undeniable margin, but they also swept away much of the ´reds´ power hold on the country in mayor seats and Congress.
Cachurecos won 252 mayor seats and Reds won just 46 with 2 still in dispute. In Yoro the entire department went from Red to Blue and the Reds do not control a single seat.
In the department of Cortes another traditionally Liberal department the Reds only won 1 seat and San Pedro Sula is in dispute right now awaiting a recount and final tally to determine the winner.
In the department of Santa Barbara with 28 mayorships the Nationalists won 22 mayorships and Liberals won just 6.
The department of Paraiso where the dramatic border event by Zelaya took place and was traditionally Liberal as well also went to a blazing blue...13 mayors are now Cachurecos and 7 Reds.
In the Department of Olancho where Zelaya and Lobo are both from the department is also now deep blue. While 20 mayorships now belong in blue hands only 3 are red.
In Colon where Nationalists usually barely make head way they control all but 1 of the mayor seats.
The projection for Congress is that the Cachurecos will control more than 70 of the 128 seats leaving just 58 for the opposition. This is an important event since Cachurecos are known for being a solid voting block and for following the lead of Pepe Lobo...if he says to Cachurecos vote for this...they do and as a solid block. So clearly the right has unsurmountable power in Honduras....Now what will they do with it since it is probably the first time in hisotry that they have held so much power in their hands.
The difficulty in the hotly contested mayor seat of San Pedro Sula is a seat I would not want if they begged me to take. Two doctors, a cardiologist (Liberal Candidate) and a gynecologist (Nationalist Candidate) are in competition for the seat and the vote took place smooth and it has turned into a close election that brings back memories of the US 2000 presidential election between Gore and Bush. There are 426 urns that are sealed with the results inside and results were to be left out of the urn and in a sealed envelope, yet poll workers did not follow instructions and sealed it in the box leaving in question the mayor seat of the Industrial Capital of Honduras. The TSE in San Pedro is not authorized to open the urns and they are being transfered to Tegus for scrutiny in front of both candidates and other observers. There is also some question about manipulation of the closing count making it necessary to hand count all of the ballots for a confirmation. Today the results should be clear as to whether the Reds or Blues will control the 2nd largest city in Honduras and take a bankrupt municipality in their hands. It is one that should not be envied and needs critical life support. San Pedro is not just handicapped it has literally 1 foot in the grave. The municipality is completely bankrupt from the corruption that has siezed it for four years. Both candidates are good and while the seat was held by a liberal previously Zuñiga is not your average candidate..he ran on the Micheletti ticket and is very popular as is Bendañas. Zuñiga is a cardiologist that has long assisted the poor even before he was in the political realm as is true for Bendañas as well. Zuñiga stood up to Zelaya over the 4th ballot box and lost his executive status with Catarino Rivas Hospital in San Pedro Sula. What is even more interesting is that Zuñiga was originally on the Micheletti ticket.