Thousands of opposition backers waving banners and shouting anti-government ballads marched through the streets of the Honduran capital Sunday in a boisterous but peaceful repudiation of the administration of President Juan Orlando Hernandez. The mostly young demonstrators repeated the president’s initials, JOH, in a rhythmic chant — “Fuera JOH,” meaning “Out with JOH” — demanding that the president concede defeat in his reelection bid in the Nov. 26 vote. “People are fed up with the corruption, the theft, the poverty,” said Jonathan Alarcon, 28, who was part of a musical combo singing an anti-Hernandez ballad in cumbia style along the protest route. “It’s time for JOH to go.”
The street demonstration was called the largest here in recent years, although there was no official estimate of the crowd, which stretched for at least six blocks along a major boulevard. It came exactly a week after presidential balloting that was plagued by allegations of fraud.
With some 95% of the ballots counted, official results show Hernandez, who is seeking a second term, with a lead of about 1.5 percentage points over his principal challenger, Salvador Nasralla, a television personality. Nasralla has forged a broad alliance across ideological lines and pushed an anti-corruption message.