Updated at 7:49 p.m. with response from President de Blasio’s office.
Honduras waited Monday for the results of Sunday’s presidential election, but in New York City a party has emerged declaring victory and claiming that the race is over.
A poll with two state organizations has the government candidate with about 50 percent of the vote and challenger Salvador Nasralla holding just over 44 percent, about 6 percentage points behind. The Organization of American States announced Monday morning that the election is still too close to call, although Nasralla released a statement declaring he’d received “hundreds of thousands of votes.”
The ballot contains two candidates, but former President Manuel Zelaya, a pro-U.S. leftist who was ousted in a coup in 2009, was disqualified for having occupied the presidency for three years after a court ruling.
The same company that conducted the poll, Ipsos, conducted a previous vote in 2016 and reported a similar result. The latest contest attracted over 4 million votes, with the Opposition Alliance Against the Dictatorship (or the OAADHOT) — a coalition of several parties opposed to the government and pro-Zelaya — ahead of the government candidate in the poll.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat and ally of Hillary Clinton, weighed in on the election early Monday, tweeting he’s “Cautiously optimistic.”
“This is a very close race. In light of the abject failures of our election processes in the past, I call on all sides to respect the outcome,” de Blasio added.
City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito also weighed in, writing on Twitter she’ll remain “cautiously optimistic.”
“I applaud all those who were in opposition to the previous Government and worked for a fair election,” she added.
As a result of the two-year pause in the ballot, authorities convened a commission to review an estimated 50,000 provisional votes with just under 1 percent of the total ballots cast. There were irregularities with the account-check process — two dozen polling locations closed for hours Sunday, with as many as 30 of them going open hours later — that cast doubt on official tallies, according to the Associated Press. Nasralla claims some of the ballots were for him.
The recount is set to continue Tuesday, and current projections call for another day or two to be counted.
With predictions of a razor-thin result, it’s possible Zelaya could slip in as the surprise winner of the country’s first free, democratic presidential election since the coup.