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Honduras election authority agrees to review disputed presidential vote

Honduran election officials have announced they will review the results from the country's November 24 presidential vote. Leading runner-up candidate Xiomara Castro has alleged the poll was fraudulent.

The president of Honduras' Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), David Matamoros, said Monday that authorities had agreed to review the electoral rolls and results from the vote. Castro, the wife of ousted former president Manuel Zelaya, filed a complaint on Monday claiming fraud in the election, in which conservative Juan Orlando Hernandez was victorious.

"Let us find the tools for it, and let's do this in the most public way possible so that absolutely no doubt remains," said Matamoros.

Castro, 54, claims tally sheets were altered, that the voter registry included people who were dead or out of the country, and that polling stations were not properly monitored. Her husband, who was removed from office in a 2009 coup that sparked a period of ongoing political instability in Honduras, has asked for the 16,135 original polling station documents to be brought to the TSE for manual review.

"We have received the request and we will be giving it our full attention … we will have to sit down and see what the verification process includes," said Matamoros, asking that if the review process shows Hernandez did indeed win, Castro accept that result. On Saturday, the TSE said results showed Hernandez had won 36.8 percent of the votes in the election compared to Castro's 28.79 percent.

Thousands of people marched in the streets on Sunday protesting the official results. Hernandez has said his victory was legitimate and non-negotiable.

The vote was monitored by the European Union and the Organization of American States, who called it transparent. They agreed, however, that the system for issuing poll workers' credentials was faulty and that people who were either dead or who had left Honduras could make up as many as 30 percent of registered voters.

dr/jm (AFP, AP)