Friday, July 27, 2012

Software Bug Could Eliminate Xiomara as Presidential Candidate

LIBRE, the political party of the Resistance, had all five internal movements nominate Xiomara Castro as their Presidential candidate.  This is permitted under Honduran election law, but it's never been done before under the current rules.

Only one problem: the software that the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) uses to run the primary elections won't allow it. 

The software was designed to function on slightly different rules.  It assumes there will always be at least two different slates of candidates for the primaries.  It was designed to automatically reject a candidate whose name appears on more than one slate of candidates.  The presence of a unique candidate across all slates was unthinkable to the software designers, and so they didn't make that possible in the software. 

As a result, the TSE is making noises that indicate they might not accept her nomination at all, on any of the five slates.

Porfirio Lobo Sosa recognizes that this creates a larger problem for him.  He needs these elections to look free, open, and democratic.  Eliminating the candidate of LIBRE from the election due to the incompetency of those who specified the design of the software will create political problems both internally and internationally for him. 

So he's asking the TSE to please make sure to make Xiomara's appearance on the ballot possible:
The [Election] Court should find a way so that the people don't feel as if there is interference in this....If a party says:  in this party there is only one candidate, what's the problem? this should not be a problem and I am in the front line of the fight defending the right to participate.

The TSE, of course, has the final say in Honduran election proceedings. Unlike Lobo Sosa, they have never seemed too bothered by appearing arbitrary. So it will be interesting to see if they stick with their flawed program-- and its underlying assumption that a political party should be fragmented into competing factions.

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