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Issue #1437      25 November 2009

Zelaya calls for Honduran election boycott

Honduran President Manuel Zelaya as called on his country’s citizens not to participate in the presidential election on November 29. President Zelaya was deposed and exiled in a coup d’état on June 28. He also announced that he had called on US President Barack Obama not to recognise the results of the election, declaring that they has “no legitimacy if it is held under the gun.”

Speaking from the Brazilian embassy in the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa, where he has taken refuge after secretly re-entering the country, Zelaya also rejected any further efforts to make a deal with coup leader Roberto Micheletti.

Mr Zelaya called on the US “lead by example,” which so far it has failed to do. Instead it is supporting the elections being organised by the military junta, contrary to the wishes of the Honduran people and the demands of Latin American countries for the restitution of democracy in the Central American state.

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere, Craig Kelly has been sent to Honduras to support the de facto regime’s pretence that the polls provide a solution to the crisis.

The US Department of State also supported a decision by the Honduran Congress which is dominated by pro-coup forces, of holding over the debate about Zelaya’s restitution until three days after the voting. “My term of office ends on 27 January, 2010,” Zelaya declared, adding that neither the Honduran Congress nor the country’s Supreme Court had the authority to depose the president.

Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez and Brazil’s Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva last week signed a joint statement demanding the restitution of constitutional order which was breached by the military coup.

Fernandez and Lula categorically stated that they would not recognise the results of the November 29 elections if democratically-elected President Manuel Zelaya is not reinstated.

Most of the continent’s nations share their stance, seeing the military coup in Honduras as a dangerous precedent for democracy in the region.

The presidents of Argentina and Brazil said in their statement that Zelaya’s restitution is essential to restoring the constitutional order and democracy in Honduras.

The National Front against the Coup d’Etat, an alliance of social and political forces, rejected the legitimacy of the elections describing them as a farce to try to legitimise the military coup. Juan Barahona, general coordinator of the alliance said resistance demonstrations, which reached their 144th consecutive days of protests on Thursday, will continue until the putschists are defeated.

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