Former first lady Xiomara Castro could be the country's first female president as she holds a nearly 20-point lead over the ruling party's candidate, according to the initial results.
Left-wing opposition candidate Xiomara Castro has taken a commanding lead over the ruling party's Nasry Asfura in Honduras' presidential election.
With around 40 percent of Sunday’s votes counted, the Libertad y Refundacion (Libre) candidate Castro took almost 53.5 percent according to a National Electoral Council (CNE) live count.
Castro, whose husband Manuel Zelaya was deposed in a coup in 2009, is hoping to become the first female president of Honduras.
The National Party's Asfura has approximately 34 percent of the votes, a distant second.
"Good night, we've won," said Castro, addressing her supporters.
The news sparked scenes of celebration in the capital Tegucigalpa, with supporters setting off fireworks and honking their horns.
The National Party (PN) has been in power since Manuel Zelaya was ousted in a 2009 coup supported by the military, business elites and the political right, and many voters think it is time for change.
"Honduras is internationally known as a narco-state. But there are no narco-states, only narco-governments," said political analyst Raul Pineda, a former PN legislator.
Corruption and drug-trafficking scandals have engulfed incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernandez and many in his inner circle.
Asfura was accused in 2020 of embezzling $700,000 of public money, and the so-called Pandora Papers linked him to influence-peddling in Costa Rica.
The third major candidate in the presidential race, the Liberal Party's Yani Rosenthal, spent three years in a US jail for money laundering. He scored just nine percent in preliminary results.
Hondurans also voted to elect the 28 members of the National Congress and 20 representatives of the Central American parliament.
The Organization of American States observation mission said in a statement late on Sunday that the voting had appeared to be “appropriate and peaceful.”