The Washington Post
Tuesday, November 27, 2001; Page A09

Anti-Crime Candidate Wins Vote In Honduras

Associated Press

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 ranging from
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 immediately

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.

                                               © 2001