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Honduras — OPPOS WIN… sorta

29 November 2009

To no-one’s surprise, National Party candidate Porfirio Lobo — who was a real candidate for a real party (the more conservative of the two main conservative parties in Honduras) back when the real government scheduled the real elections — won the not-so-real election.

Bloomberg’s Eric Sabo and Helen Murphy claim it was a peaceful election, but Julie Webb-Pullman (via Scoop, New Zealand) begs to differ:

Contrary to coup-sponsored electoral observer reports of a peaceful election, the days leading up to, and of, the ‘electoral farce’ were characterised by repression and violence in many places, particularly resistance strongholds such as San Pedro Sula where resistance members were beaten, injured, and detained, and one is reported to be disappeared. Among the injured is a Reuters reporter, and two religious workers from the Latin American Council of Churches working as human rights observers were detained.

There have also been reports of rapes, beatings and detentions from other districts, which human rights groups will be following up in the days to come.

“They have put civilian clowns in office to put a clean face on the military coup,” commented Bertha Oliva, Director of the Centre for Families of the Disappeared and Detained of Honduras (COFADEH).

Despite protestations to the contrary by the international corporate media, there is a wealth of photographic and first hand accounts from the polls – including documents shown to international observers by polling booth staff – that the turnout was considerably less than 50%, and in the northern part of the country, less than 20%.

My guide to “inside the beltway” thinking, Boz ( was looking for buyers for an improbable set of numbers.  Ignoring the fact that Hondurans already distrust the political system (and the bizarre constitution forced on the country in 1982 (and re-interpreted by Congress regularly since), Boz assumes that turnout will be extremely low to begin with.

Out of an estimated 4.6 million eligible voters, Boz, based on unprovable calculations comes up with 2.5 million voters… then 2.25 probable voters, and THEN… suggests that there has to be less than 1.5 votes cast (including, one presumes, “null votes”) to invalidate the election.  That smells of desperation… either on Boz’s part (who may be an establishment type, but isn’t known for being either dishonest or stupid… just trapped within the Beltway mindset) or on the part of those who need somehow to create a rationale for claiming this phony election somehow reflects the will of… a couple of Hondurans.

I don’t know if the abstention rate will hold up, and how many “null votes” there are, so we’ll see… Boz’s ridiculously high “fail bar” might just be reached, in spite of the best number crunching I’ve seen since my (extremely — a matter of days) short stint with Enron.

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