Thursday, July 19, 2012

Registration of Slates of Candidates

On Wednesday, all factions in all the political parties in Honduras had to register their slate of candidates for national, departmental, and local office.  In all, some 21 movements within the political parties registered slates of candidates. 

There were a few surprises.

LIBRE, the political party formed earlier this year from groups within the resistance, consists of five groups:
28th of June Movement (headed by Carlos Zelaya)
the Popular Revolutionary Force (headed by Juan Barahona)
the Progressive Resistance Movement (headed by Rasel Tomé)
the People Organized in Resistance (headed by Mauricio Ramos)
the 5th of July Movement (headed by Nelson Avila)

LIBRE had wanted to declare Xiomara Castro de Zelaya as their consensus candidate, but Honduran law requires there to be a primary election to select candidates for every level of office within each political party.  So all five groups listed Xiomara Castro de Zelaya as their presidential candidate, and a retired police commissioner, Maria Luisa Borjas, as candidate for Mayor of Tegucigalpa. 

The Liberal Party this year consists of 3 movements:  Yanismo (candidate:  Yani Rosenthal), the United Liberal Front (Esteban Handel) and the Liberal Villedista Movement (Mauricio Villeda, memorable for his role as a Micheletti representative in failed negotiations for a solution after the coup of 2009).

The Nationalist Party this year fragmented into 8 movements:  the Blue Heart Movement (candidate:  Eva Fernandez), Saving Honduras (Ricardo Alvarez, current Mayor of Tegucigalpa),  For a New Honduras (Loreley Fernandez), the Authentic Nationalist Movement (Fernando Anduray), the United Blue Movement (Juan Orlando Hernandez, head of Congress), the Movement for my Country (Miguel Pastor),  The Democratic Reserve Movement (Jose Osorto), and the Barnica Action Movement (Víctor Hugo Barnica).  Only three of these (Alvarez, Hernandez, and Pastor) are considered to have a chance at the nomination.

In addition, there is the Anticorruption Party (candidate:  Salvador Nasralla) and the Patriotic Alliance of Honduras (Romeo Vásquez Vélasquez).

The Frente Amplio Politico Electoral en Resistencia (FAPER) has two movements:  Solidarity, Organization and Struggle (Andres Pavon, of the human rights organization CODEH),  and the Movimiento Amplio Reformista (Guadalupe Coello).

The Christian Democrat Party has a single movement, the Christian Democrats in Action Movement (still selecting a candidate).

There were no reports of slates of candidates for the UD Party.  Previous reports indicated that the UD party was considering an alliance with LIBRE, or perhaps FAPER. Also no report of any slate for the PINU party.

In all, more than 53,000 people will be proposed for political office across all the parties in Honduras.  All of these individuals will compete in the primary election, to be held on November 18, 2012. Because of the addition of new parties and movements within them, the level of participation is higher than in previous elections.

And that creates a problem. 

To support all the parties and movements, the Honduran Supreme Electoral Tribunal needs 40,000 rooms spread across the country to host the election, and they are short some 18,337 rooms.  Furthermore, some of the locations already contracted don't have sufficient rooms for all the parties.

The parties have until August 6 to continue to submit changes to their lists of candidates, and the Election Tribunal will rule on accepting both the movements and their candidates by August 26, 2012.

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