WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement Tuesday regarding the current political crisis in Honduras:
“The reports by the Organization of American States and European Union election observation missions raise serious questions about the legitimacy of the Honduran presidential election, but also identify steps that must be taken to restore transparency and citizen confidence in a final result. The OAS and EU recommendations for a recount of nearly 5,200 tally sheets not transmitted on election night and the review of voter participation in three specific departments are legitimate requests that should be fully supported by the United States government and the international community.
“It is time for the leading candidates to pursue a negotiated solution to the country’s political crisis that addresses the conditions that both sides need to recognize a final result. Failing to do so will betray the confidence that Hondurans have in their democracy and their fundamental rights to choose their next president.
“I am also deeply concerned about the recent incidents of violence in Honduras, the imposition of a nationwide curfew, and the coercive tactics used against protesters by certain sectors of the Honduran security forces. Citizens must be guaranteed the freedom to peacefully express themselves.”