The Washington Post

Xiomara Castro to be first female president

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Democratic socialist Xiomara Castro is poised to become Honduras’s next president after her main rival conceded Tuesday, bringing the country’s left back to power after 12 years of conservati­ve National Party rule, much of it pockmarked by scandal.

Speaking on local television, Nasry Asfura congratula­ted Castro on her victory and referred to her as president-elect.

Castro, 62, will be the first female president of the Central American country. The wife of Manuel Zelaya, a former president who was removed from office by the military in 2009, Castro ran on an anti-corruption platform with promises to end what she deemed a narco-state.

She will succeed President Juan Orlando Hernández, whose last term in office was clouded by investigat­ions into his alleged ties to drug traffickin­g.

Honduras is now the biggest source of migration to the United States — a fact that critics blame partly on the Hernández administra­tion’s poor governance and an issue Castro will inherit.

“The Honduran people exercised their power to vote in a free and fair election,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday on Twitter. “We congratula­te them and President Elect @Xiomaracas­troz and look forward to working together to strengthen democratic institutio­ns, promote inclusive economic growth, and fight corruption.”

Castro has said she would prioritize migration in talks with the Biden administra­tion but has referred to it “as a social fact and as a right” — an outlook that seems to diverge from the U.S. focus on deterrence.

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