TEGUCIGALPA, March 12 (Xinhua) -- Primary elections took place Sunday in Honduras in a relative calm atmosphere, with three political parties electing their representatives for November's general elections.
Polling stations across the country were open from 7:00 a.m. local time (1:00 GMT) to 7:00 p.m. local time (13:00 GMT), after which vote counting would begin.
The country's opposing parties, the Liberal Party and the Liberty and Refoundation, are seeking to choose those able to unseat the government, which has been accused of corruption.
Members of the ruling National Party were asked to make a choice between the current president, Juan Orlando Hernandez, and his rival Roberto Castillo.
The Liberal Party has put forward four potential candidates, namely Gabriela Nunez, Luis Zelaya, Enrique Ortez, Jose Martell and Carlos Montoya.
For the Liberty and Refoundation party, former presidential candidate, Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, was seen as a potential winner, but he still has to meet the challenges from deputy Rasel Tome and economist Jorge Nelson Avila.
Speaking to the press, U.S. Ambassador to Honduras James Nealon, said that his diplomatic team would act as election observers in a number of polling centers before preparing a report for Washington.
Around 5,000 schools have been used as the polling stations, with around 200,000 electoral officials.
The general elections in November will choose a president, parliamentary deputies, mayors and municipal councils.
Around 5.8 million Honduran citizens are eligible to vote, out of a population of 8.7 million.
Honduras, with one of the highest rate of violence in the world, has a history of electoral violence. In 2009, former President Manuel Zelaya was ousted by the military over plans to rewrite the country's constitution.