Honduran leftist, teamed with TV host, gains in race to be first woman president

Xiomara Castro, presidential candidate for the opposition Libre Party during the closing rally of her electoral campaign in San Pedro Sula
FILE PHOTO: Xiomara Castro, presidential candidate for the opposition Libre Party, gives a thumbs up during the closing rally of her electoral campaign in San Pedro Sula, Honduras November 20, 2021. REUTERS/Yoseph Amaya

By Gustavo Palencia and David Alire Garcia

TEGUCIGALPA – Leftist Xiomara Castro has a shot at winning an election on Sunday, to become Honduras’ first female president and end years of conservative rule marred by graft and ties to drug smugglers.

An alliance with former rival candidate Salvador Nasralla, a popular television host, gave a boost in the polls to Castro, 62.

She has said that if she beats ruling-party candidate Nasry Asfura, she will explore establishing diplomatic ties with China, which could cause tension with Washington.

But U.S. President Joe Biden, who sees weak rule of law in Central America as driving heavy migration to the United States, may approve of her pledge to enlist U.N. help to build an anti-corruption agency.

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