With the re-election ban lifted by Supreme Court judges installed by Mr. Hernández, his way seemed clear to what many believed would be an easy victory over a divided opposition. But as results came in the night of the election on Nov. 26, Salvador Nasralla, a former sportscaster running at the head of an alliance coordinated by Mr. Zelaya, led the count by almost 5 percentage points.
The electoral commission, which is controlled by Mr. Hernández’s allies, shut down the count with votes from 57 percent of the polling places tallied. When counting resumed more than a day and a half later, Mr. Hernández was reported to have closed Mr. Nasralla’s lead and then eventually to have overtaken him.
On Monday, election officials said Mr. Hernández had won by a margin of 52,600 votes.
The opposition, alleging fraud, has demanded recounts of almost a third of the tally sheets, as well as in three departments where sharply higher turnout was reported.
Election monitors from the Organization of American States and the European Union abandoned diplomatic language Monday as they threw their weight behind a recount.
“The narrow margin of results, as well as the irregularities, errors and systemic problems that have surrounded this election does not give the mission certainty over the results,’’ Jorge Quiroga, a former president of Bolivia who is leading the O.A.S. observers, said Monday afternoon.
Marisa Matias, the leader of the European Union mission, urged the election board to accede to the opposition’s demands in order “to have transparent results, to have confidence, to regain confidence in a system where the Honduran people do not have much confidence right now. ”
Mr. Hernández’s government imposed a 12-hour nighttime curfew on Friday and said it would last for 10 days after peaceful protests by the opposition spilled into violence and looting in a few areas.
But scenes of the military police shooting at civilians have produced outrage among Hondurans as they have been shared on social media. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights said it had received reports that 11 people had died in the violence and that 15 had been injured.
Opposition leaders said Monday that the electioncommission had stalled in producing information it has been requesting.
“They want to announce Juan Orlando as the winner as soon as possible,” said Rodolfo Pastor, the chief strategist for the alliance.
As part a recount effort, Mr. Nasralla asked for the O.A.S. to audit the results based on the opposition’s paper copies of the tally sheets.
“We are beginning to resort to the international community to intervene,” Mr. Pastor said.