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Statement on the National Elections in Honduras

Washington Senior Observer Group

At the invitation of the Union Civica Democratica and the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), the Washington Senior Observer Group traveled to Honduras to participate as international observers in the Honduran national elections of November 29, 2009. We joined over 600 observers from at least 31 countries who were present to observe and support the democratic process.

Members of this observer group visited over 75 different polling centers and entered hundreds of classrooms where the voting took place. We spoke with literally thousands of Hondurans. We witnessed the enthusiastic desire of thousands of Honduran citizens to cast their ballots. Many took time to thank us for our presence today. Without exception, they expressed confidence in the electoral system, pride in exercising their right to vote, and a profound hope that their election is a decisive step toward the restoration of the constitutional and democratic order in Honduras.

The voting stations were accessible to all, adequately supplied with carefully-controlled voting materials, and fully staffed and supported by national observers from participating political parties. We witnessed no voter intimidation by any group, individual, or party. While there was there was a police and military presence to provide security, we noted how the military and police conducted themselves in a professional manner. Incidents reported to us, such as late openings and locked voting stations, were quickly resolved and did not significantly disrupt the voting process. Our observations coincide with those reported by other observers and by the media throughout Honduras.

We witnessed a free, fair and transparent voting process conducted by committed and conscientious citizens.

We commend all members and volunteers of the TSE for the professional and independent manner in which they conducted today's elections.

Members of the Washington Senior Observer Group included The Honorable Jerry Weller, former member of the House of Representatives: The Honorable Kerry Healey, Ph.D., former Lt. Governor of Massachusetts; The Honorable James F. Creagan, former U.S. Ambassador to Honduras; J. Edward Fox, former Assistant Administrator for Legislative and Public Affairs, U.S. Agency for International Development; Adolfo Franco, former Assistant Administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean; U.S. Agency for International Development; Ray Walser, Ph.D., The Heritage Foundation; Jim Roberts, The Heritage Foundation; Israel Ortega, The Heritage Foundation; Joseph Humire, Atlas Foundation; Jon Perdue, Fund for American Studies; Jim Colbert, Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs; Eric Fatla, New World Group; Nicholas Hanlon, Center for Security Policy; Luis Fleischman, Ph.D.; Center for Security Policy; Victor Cervino; Alberto Sandoval; and John Katchik.

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