EFETegucigalpa

Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernández Wednesday congratulated leftist Xiomara Castro, set to become the first female head of the South American country with more than half of the ballots cast in Nov.28 polls counted so far.

In a message broadcast on the national radio and television network, the president also felicitated his compatriots "for the massive participation in the last elections."

He said their show of civility had strengthened the Honduras democracy with an apparent clear mandate easing fears of possible election-related violence and a re-poll.