Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez called for unity on Saturday after a bitterly disputed election last year as he was sworn in for a second term, even as police skirmished with protesters in the streets, Reuters reported.
Hernandez, a conservative supported by the United States, appeared set to lose the Nov. 26 election until an abrupt halt in the vote count and a shift in the results took victory away from his center-left rival, Salvador Nasralla.
Allegations of fraud sparked deadly protests that killed more than 30 people in the impoverished Central American country, which has been plagued by battles between security forces, local gangs and drug traffickers.
As Hernandez spoke at a stadium at his swearing-in, supporters and troops chanted “unity” and waved the blue and white Honduran flag.
“If a house is divided against itself, it cannot stand,” he said, quoting the New Testament. “I promise to carry out a process of reconciliation among all Hondurans.”
On Saturday, thousands of demonstrators clashed with troops and police, who fired tear gas to disperse the crowd that had gathered a couple of miles from the stadium where Hernandez took office.