October 3, 2016 / 7:17 PM / a year ago

Honduras police tear gas anti re-election protesters

TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) - Clashes broke out in Honduras on Monday as police fired tear gas on demonstrators blocking highway toll stations in protest against efforts by the ruling party to enable presidential re-election and keep the incumbent Juan Hernandez in power.

Riot policemen remove rocks from a road after supporters of the Liberty and Refoundation party (LIBRE) blocked it during a nationwide protest against the re-election bid of Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernandez for the 2017 election, in Zambrano, on the outskirts of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Jorge Cabrera

The protesters were also demonstrating against increases in highway toll rates and the cost of electricity.

Urged on by the opposition Liberty and Refoundation Party (LIBRE), protesters took toll stations in the center and north of the Central American country, sparking clashes in which at least 14 people were arrested, a police official said.

LIBRE is the party of former president Manuel Zelaya, who was deposed in a 2009 coup after a bitter political stand-off over re-election, which Hernandez’s party has backed for the next vote, due towards the end of 2017.

Hernandez, of the conservative National Party, has not said whether he will seek re-election, nor has he ruled it out.

Last year, the Supreme Court of Honduras struck down a law that banned presidents from seeking a second term.

Reporting by Gustavo Palencia; Editing by Marguerita Choy

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