TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) – Honduras’ most important left-wing opposition get together, led by ousted former president Manuel Zelaya, stated on Sunday that if it wins November’s presidential election it’s going to search to “readjust” the nation’s debt and set up diplomatic relations with China.
Zelaya’s Liberty and Refoundation Celebration (LIBRE) is for the second time fielding his spouse, Xiomara Castro, as candidate, who set out her plans at a information convention in a Tegucigalpa resort.
“I’ll order a global audit on the interior and exterior debt, and the readjustment of it,” Castro, 61, stated with out elaborating on what steps that will entail.
Honduras presently has diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but when victorious, Castro stated she would “instantly open diplomatic and industrial relations with mainland China.”
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On the finish of 2020, Honduras had public debt of greater than $13 billion, a sum equal to 55 p.c of gross home product (GDP), in keeping with finance ministry knowledge.
Of that, $8.45 billion is international debt, and over 30 p.c of the nationwide finances is allotted to paying off debt.
No dependable polling has but been printed for the election, during which Castro and a number of other different candidates will face Nasry Asfura, the mayor of Tegucigalpa, who has been backed by outgoing president Juan Orlando Hernandez, a conservative.
Hernandez’s rule has been dogged by allegations of vote-rigging in his 2017 re-election and accusations raised in U.S. courts – which he denies – of his hyperlinks to drug traffickers.
However he stays an influential determine and his Nationwide Celebration continues to be the strongest power in Honduran politics.
Honduras, one of many poorest international locations within the Americas, suffered a 9% decline in GDP final 12 months through the coronavirus pandemic, and was badly mauled by a pair of main hurricanes that ravaged Central America final November.
This 12 months, the central financial institution of Honduras has forecast the financial system will develop by between 3.2% and 5.2%.
(Reporting by Gustavo Palencia; Enhancing by Sandra Maler)
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