Honduras parties elect candidates for 2013 elections

Xiomara Castro (left) and Manuel Zelaya (right) on 18 November 2012 Xiomara Castro is hoping to occupy the post her husband once held

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Primary elections have been held in Honduras, with three political parties choosing their candidates for next year's general and presidential polls.

Xiomara Castro, wife of ousted former President Manuel Zelaya, was elected unopposed as the presidential candidate for the Libre party.

Mr Zelaya, who returned from exile in 2011, is seeking a seat in Congress.

Honduras, one of the poorest nations in the region, has the world's highest murder rate - 92 per 100,000 people.

Sunday's primaries were held to select candidates for the presidency and vice presidency, as well as for Congress and municipal posts.

Results indicated that Mauricio Villeda was the Liberal Party's choice, while Juan Orlando Hernandez was set to be the National Party's candidate in the 2013 November election.

Ms Castro will be the candidate of the Liberty and Refoundation Party, also known as Libre.

The party was formed in the wake of the coup in June 2009 that ousted her husband.

"Libre will break the bi-party system," Mr Zelaya said ahead of Sunday's primaries, referring to the long dominant National and Liberal parties.

The November 2013 election, when several other parties are also expected to put up candidates, will choose a successor to Porfirio Lobo of the National Party.

Mr Lobo was elected a few months after Mr Zelaya was toppled from office amid a crisis triggered by his refusal to cancel a referendum on constitutional change.

His removal left Honduras politically isolated for several months.

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