Latin America & Caribbean

Honduran President Hernández sworn in amid protests

Reelected President Juan Orlando Hernandez waves to the crowd at his arrival to the inauguration ceremony at the Tiburcio Carias Andino national stadium, in Tegucigalpa, on January 27, Image copyright AFP
Image caption Juan Orlando Hernández's election victory is disputed by the opposition

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández has been sworn in for a second term with high security in place after a disputed presidential election.

He took the oath at a ceremony in the capital, Tegucigalpa, that was watched by hundreds of guests and spectators.

Soldiers were deployed on the streets and opposition supporters protested outside the venue.

President Hernández's win in November has been widely criticised, with his party accused of electoral fraud.

More than 30 people have been killed in violence since the vote.

In his inauguration speech, President Hernández promised to unite Hondurans and said he would lead "the country he was proud to be from".

But the Opposition Alliance Against the Dictatorship, which accuses President Hernández of putting in place a "military dictatorship", urged its supporters to participate in demonstrations.

Roads leading to the Tiburcio Carias Andino stadium, where the ceremony was taking place, were blocked by demonstrators.

In previous protests, riot police have used tear gas to disperse opposition supporters who set up roadblocks made of burning tires.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Demonstrators clashed with riot police and soldiers
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Opposition supporters blocked roads and avenues ahead of the ceremony

Supporters of opposition leader Salvador Nasralla remain deeply suspicious of the electoral tribunal that counted the ballots. This is because it is appointed by Congress, which is controlled by President Hernández's National Party.

Mr Nasralla initially established a lead as the votes were being counted in the 25 November ballot, but his lead quickly diminished and he accused the authorities of manipulating the results.

Thousands of people have taken to the streets in rival demonstrations following the election.

President Hernández, 49, has been in power since 2013, and is the first president to run for a second term after the country's supreme court lifted a ban on re-election.

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