Mr. Hernández, who sent out surrogates from his National Party to argue on television that the final count would turn his way, kept out of sight on Monday. “This ends when it ends,” the president wrote in a post on Twitter.
But a third contender for president, Luis Zelaya, a university rector who ran as the candidate for the traditional Liberal Party, congratulated Mr. Nasralla and called on Mr. Hernández to concede.
“All Honduras has said no to re-election,” Mr. Zelaya said at a news conference. “That has to be respected. The people have decided.”
Although Mr. Hernández was widely expected to win the election, he has become a polarizing figure as he expanded his power over every branch of government.
What may have damaged his candidacy the most, though, was the way he maneuvered to get his name on the ballot. The Honduran Constitution includes a ban on a second term for a president, a prohibition so unshakable that it was cited as the reason for ousting President Manuel Zelaya in a 2009 coup.
But two years ago, five Supreme Court judges ruled that the prohibition was unconstitutional, clearing the way for Mr. Hernández to run again. All five owed their jobs to Mr. Hernández after their predecessors were dismissed or moved.
Back then, Mr. Zelaya (who is not related to Luis Zelaya) was believed to be angling for a way to get around the ban, although his left-wing policies were most likely the real reason the country’s political and business elites wanted him out.
If Mr. Nasralla becomes president, Mr. Zelaya will return to the center of Honduras’s political scene.
As the founder of Libre, the main party in the alliance, Mr. Zelaya campaigned with Mr. Nasralla and was widely seen as the alliance’s main strategist. The platform was drawn up with contributions from Libre supporters, including ministers and economists who had worked in Mr. Zelaya’s government.
Mr. Nasralla, who did not enter politics until 2011 and speaks with the cadence of the game-show host he once was, has benefited from the perception that he is an uncorrupted outsider.
In an interview with a local radio station on Monday, he began to lay out his plans, suggesting that the electoral tribunal and the Supreme Court would be replaced.
Mr. Hernández had gambled that voters would be willing to hand him more power in exchange for increased security. When he took office in 2013, drug and gang violence had made Honduras the deadliest country in the world outside a war zone. With tens of millions of dollars a year in aid from the United States and pressure from Washington, Mr. Hernández dismantled several drug cartels and extradited a dozen traffickers to the United States.
The overall homicide rate fell 28 percent through 2016 and has continued to decline, according to statistics compiled by the country’s main university, although the homicide rate remains high in Tegucigalpa and the country’s industrial capital, San Pedro Sula.
But Mr. Hernández has been tainted by broad evidence of corruption in the National Party. Frustration with corruption spilled into the streets in 2015, when Hondurans marched in demonstrations for weeks.
The movement forced Mr. Hernández to accept an outside panel of foreign prosecutors, sponsored by the Organization of American States, to work alongside Hondurans in the attorney general’s office to prepare anticorruption cases.
The fate of that panel would be unclear if Mr. Nasralla becomes president.
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