Omar’s prediction – Who will win the 2013 Honduras elections!
So far we have been into campaign season for two complete weeks! The streets are flooded with posters from the Honduras presidential candidates hanging from every single possible post; from street lamps to electricity posts to trees… you name it. It is interesting to point out that there are many posters promoting the candidates of the National, Liberal, Libre and UD candidates; however I have yet to see one sign promoting PAC. Although still officially in second place when it comes to voters intentions, Salvador Nasralla, the presidential candidate for PAC, has not yet started his campaign. Not really sure what is on his mind. I guess he wants a different campaign; perhaps he does not want a campaign at all, but the fact that he is losing points and will soon be down from second to third and even fourth place, this seems inevitable unless he starts doing something.
Juan Orlando Hernandez, congressman and president of Congress, is still falling in voter intention, and is now in 4th place. It seems that his decision to name the Attorney General and his assistant for a 5 year period has reinforced the feeling that he is willing to do anything to ensure he will not be prosecuted for his actions as president of Congress in the next term.
In any case, one thing seems clear, with only 10 weeks to go before the election, there is still no clear winner to date! Furthermore, the election could still go in any direction with four candidates still having an opportunity to win! Such a situation has never happened before in Honduras.
In the last couple of weeks a couple of polls were taken via telephone. In the first one, the question of what the main concern that Hondurans had as they entered the election, showed that over 70 percent mentioned security as the main concern, with the need for employment coming in second place. The second poll specifically asked the people whom would they choose if they had two options: an honest candidate that would probably not be able to solve the country’s problems, or a corrupt candidate that would probably solve most of the problems. The answer was appalling: the vast majority preferred a corrupt candidate that would solve the problems!
My conclusions are the following: Mauricio Villeda and Salvador Nasralla will end up losing the elections, and the fight will be amongst the two candidates that are perceived as more corrupt, but with a stronger will to solve the problems: National party candidate Juan Orlando Hernandez and Libre Candidate Xiomara Castro. The Libre Candidate has the tough job of distancing herself from her husband, Mel Zelaya, who was ousted in 2009, and blamed by many for the disastrous economic situation that the country is in today. Although Zelaya has a following, there are definitely more Hondurans that hate him than there are who admire him. There is still over one quarter of the electorate that claims to be undecided, so it is clear that it is they who will decide the elections!
Therefore, the 2013 Honduras elections prediction is that despite the lack of trust that Hondurans have towards Juan Orlando Hernandez, they will in the end rally behind him, because they feel he is the only one with the strong leadership and courage to do what is needed to turn the country around. Based on this, I am willing to bet that the next president to be elected in Honduras will be the National Party candidate, Juan Orlando Hernandez.
I will be following the 2013 Honduras elections and campaign closely, and let you know if I foresee a change in this prediction. With ten weeks to go, anything can happen; including what I am anticipating: that the candidate that is currently in fourth place will rally and end up winning the elections!
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