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Both candidates claim victory in Honduras presidential election

By Sara Shayanian
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Both candidates claim victory in Honduras presidential election
Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernandez casts his ballot at a polling station in Gracias, Honduras. Photo by Artido/EPA

Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Both President Juan Orlando Hernández and opposition leader Salvador Nasralla are declaring victory in Honduras's presidential election.

Nasralla, a former sportscaster, was leading in the vote count Monday and declared victory over the incumbent leader.

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Honduras's electoral tribunal reported that Nasralla was ahead by almost 5 percent 10 hours after polls closed -- and held 45 percent to Hernández's 40 percent.

In third place, Liberal Party candidate Luis Zelaya received a little over 13 percent of the vote.

Hernández, though, released a statement Monday saying he had won the election.

"I am grateful to the Honduran people for entrusting me to lead our great nation for four more years," he said. "The election is now over, and I implore the Honduran people to unite as brothers and sisters to build an equitable homeland that offers justice to all."

Less than 60 percent of the votes had been counted by mid-Monday.

Both candidates were confident before the election they would win. Hernández told supporters he was certain of victory, while Nasralla told supporters "we are winning!"

Hondurans voted for 3,000 other public offices, in addition to the presidency.

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