Free Party presidential candidate Xiomara Castro celebrates after general elections, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Nov. 28. Castro claimed victory, setting up a showdown with the National Party which said its candidate had won a vote that could end the conservative party’s 12 years in power. Photo: AP Photo/Moises Castillo

Honduras’ former first lady Xiomara Castro has won the country’s presidential election, and the ruling party’s candidate has conceded defeat.

Conservative National Party presidential candidate Nasry Asfura said he had met with Castro and her family and conceded the late November election to her in private.

“Now I want to say it publicly, I congratulate her on her triumph and as president-elect. I hope that God enlightens her and guides her so that in her administration, she does the best for the benefit of all of us Hondurans,” Mr. Asfura said in a video broadcast on local television.

According to the National Electoral Council (CNE) of Honduras, more than 52 percent of votes were counted by Nov. 30 evening and Ms. Castro, 62, had 53.4 percent support, compared with 34.1 percent for Mr. Asfura, who is 63 years old.


Ms. Castro, whose husband Manuel Zelaya was overthrown in a coup in 2009, hails from the left-wing opposition LIBRE Party. She will be Honduras’ first female president and will bring the country’s left back to power, ending the conservative party’s 12-year stint.

Ms. Castro has promised to bring about big changes in Honduras, including an overhaul of the country’s constitution, fighting corruption with the aid of the United Nations, and loosening restrictions on abortion.

She has also floated the idea of dropping diplomatic support for Chinese Taipei in favor of China.

Meanwhile, when Ms. Castro assumes power in January, she will face a range of problems including a high rate of unemployment, crime, and corruption, as well as threats posed by international drug cartels operating through the country.

Outgoing President Juan Orlando Hernandez and his family have been accused of having links to drug traffickers. (