U.S. welcomes Hernandez as Honduras Prez

Honduran opposition candidate Salvador Nasralla addresses the media after the U.S. backed the re-election of Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez despite allegations of fraud by the opposition in Tegucigalpa Honduras

Honduran electoral authorities concluded a recount December 4, more than a week after a bitterly contested presidential election, that put incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernández in the lead.

The controversial election came eight years after a military coup sparked by a previous president's flirtation with a second term, which was barred by the constitution at the time. Supporters of his opponent, Salvador Nasralla, have protested the results.

The defeated candidate in presidential elections in Honduras has accepted an invitation for talks with president Juan Orlando Hernandez.

"We congratulate President Juan Orlando Hernandez on his victory in the November 26 presidential elections, as declared by the Honduran Supreme Electoral Tribunal", U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

The Honduran police confirmed 17 deaths, but the opposition and the Committee of Detained and Disappeared, a non-governmental organization, said at least 24 people have been killed in the three weeks of unrest.

"Thus far, the State Department's response to events in Honduras has been inadequate", reads a letter sent to Tillerson by the 20 members of Congress and shared with reporters by Rep. Norma Torres, a Democrat from California.

The streets of the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa and other major cities were largely calm on Friday with a few protests cleared by the armed forces. "We urge Honduran citizens or political parties challenging the result to use the avenues provided by Honduran law".

"With the decision by Washington, I am no longer in the running", Nasralla told the HCH television station.

"They are very afraid of left-wing governments", Nasralla said.

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