Anti-Crime Candidate Wins Vote In Honduras
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras, Nov. 26 -- Ricardo Maduro, a political newcomer
who promised a New York City-style crackdown on crime, was officially declared
the winner of Honduras's presidential election today and promised more "democracy, transparency and equality for all."
With more than 40 percent of the vote counted, the National Election
Tribunal declared Maduro of the National Party the winner with a projected
53 percent of the
vote, compared with 44 percent for his main rival, Rafael Pineda of the ruling Liberal Party.
Pineda accepted defeat, saying "God and the Honduran people have expressed their will."
"We'll start by ensuring that everybody obeys the law as it has never
been obeyed before," said Maduro, a 54-year-old businessman with interests
agriculture to hotels. He served as president of the central bank under then-President Rafael Callejas from 1990 to 1994.
"I won't just simply run the nation, but reform it with more democracy, transparency and equality for all, especially those with less," he said.
While the election Sunday was largely peaceful, violence leading up
to the vote underscored the central problem of what to do with a generation
of young Hondurans
who have grown up with crime and poverty.
A National Party congressional candidate was killed by gunmen Friday,
and shots were fired at a Liberal Party office Saturday. No suspects were
Economic hardship has forced hundreds of thousands of Hondurans to seek work in the United States, where voting booths were set up in several cities.