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Taiwan salutes Xiomara Castro on Honduran presidential election win

2021-12-02
Focus Taiwan
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Photo from Xiomara Castro's Facebook page @XiomaraCastroZ
Photo from Xiomara Castro's Facebook page @XiomaraCastroZ

Taipei, Dec. 1 (CNA) Taiwan on Wednesday congratulated Xiomara Castro on her historic victory in the Honduran presidential election to become that nation's first female president, while indicating it looks forward to working with the next government of the long-term Central American ally.

The nation's ambassador to Honduras Diego Wen (溫曜禎) personally extended congratulation to president-elect Castro on behalf of President Tsai ing-wen (蔡英文) and the people of Taiwan, according to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) press release.

Wen also congratulated the Honduran people on a peaceful democratic election, it added.

MOFA's congratulatory message was issued after Honduras' conservative ruling party candidate conceded defeat in the presidential election late Tuesday night, Honduran time, paving the way for his leftist rival Castro to become the first female leader of the country.

With over 52 percent of votes tallied by Tuesday evening, Castro had 53.4 percent support, and Asfura 34.1 percent. The outcome had remained unconfirmed because of the sluggish vote count by the electoral council.

However, Castro's victory could potentially end the Republic of China's (Taiwan) 80-year diplomatic relationship with Honduras.

The 62-year-old wife of ousted Honduran President Jose Manuel Zelaya had said during her campaign that she would switch diplomatic relations to China if she won, but according to one of her close aides, no final decision has been made.

Commenting on the potential switch of diplomatic recognition, Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said earlier this week that the ministry has had "in-depth conversations" with the presidential candidates of both parties and their close aides.

Based on the information obtained from those interactions, Wu said, he does not think the election results will have any major impact on diplomatic relations between Taiwan and Honduras.

The diplomatic ties between Honduras and the Republic of China (Taiwan), date back to 1941, before the then Kuomintang-led ROC government relocated to Taiwan from the Chinese mainland after losing the Chinese civil war in 1945.

If Honduras switches recognition to China, Taiwan will be left with 14 diplomatic allies worldwide.

Castro is expected to officially assume office on Jan. 27, 2021.

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