By James Blears
The overall vote count still has some way to go, but Libre Party opposition candidate Xiomara Castro, in her third attempt for the top job, already has a significant lead over Nasry Asfura, the Mayor of the Capitol Tegucigalpa, who`s the candidate of the ruling National Party. Popular television personality Salvador Nasra, gave up his presidential candidacy to throw his support behind Xiomara as her running mate and if she wins, he`ll become Vice President.
With forty five percent tallied, she leads with 53 percent of the vote, while Asfura, who`s also claiming victory, trails with 33 percent. Hondurans want to make their voice heard in no uncertain terms. The turnout has been a massive 68 percent.
A win would be a remarkable comeback for the former First Lady of President Manuel Zelaya. Her husband was ousted by a coup in 2009, and a dozen years of National Party rule followed. Poverty running at more than seventy percent, its extreme version at more than fifty percent, rampant street gangs and unemployment, has fuelled an exodus of more than 300,000 people who`ve formed migrant caravans, heading for the US border via Guatemala and then Mexico. These problems will take billions of dollars, even more in sheer effort and many years to resolve.