Juan Hernandez likely to become first re-elected Honduran president

Juan Hernandez likely to become first re-elected Honduran president

Registering a 15-point lead in the last pre-election poll, incumbent Honduran President  Juan Hernandez is likely to be the first president to

Photo: Inti Ocon

Photo: Inti Ocon

Registering a 15-point lead in the last pre-election poll, incumbent Honduran President  Juan Hernandez is likely to be the first president to win re-election in his country’s history.

In 2015, the Supreme Court overturned constitutional term limits and allowed the conservative, pro-American leader to run again, attracting criticism of executive overreach.

Mr Hernandez’s popularity can be attributed to his stewardship of a strong economy. The IMF projects 4% growth–driven mainly by exports and remittances– this year for Honduras. Debt has a been cut from 7.9% to 2.6% of GDP and the murder rate has dropped from 79 to 42 per 100,000  during Hernandez’s term. Regardless, income per capita–$2,700– still lags well behind more prosperous neighbours.

To bridge that deficiency, a re-elected Mr Hernandez is expected to introduce more pro-business, debt-reducing and crime-fighting policies to increase investor confidence in key export industries, like coffee. Long-term economic growth depends on the success of these industries, as they will play a critical role in weaning the economy off of large remittance flows from Honduran expatriates in the United States.