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Did Honduras deal weaken Zelaya?

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Congress could vote to restore Zelaya to the presidency.

This is the scenario that the international community has been demanding all along – threatening not to recognize Nov. 29 elections if Zelaya is not restored. It would be a diplomatic coup for the US, who got both sides to the negotiating table after talks stalled for months.

However, the Honduran Congress backed Zelaya's ouster. Though the presidential contenders may broker a deal for Zelaya's return so that elections are recognized and aid restored, many lawmakers remain firmly opposed to Zelaya, who they accuse of trying to alter the Constitution to scrap presidential term limits. Zelaya denies this. And his supporters say they fear that Congress won't solve the issue quickly. "They are already showing signs of stalling," says Omar Rivera, a member of Zelaya's former government.

On Monday José Alfredo Saavedra, who heads the Honduran Congress, said that he had not yet decided when legislators will be called back into session, despite demands from diplomats not to delay the vote.

Mr. Rivera says Congress could wait until after elections to make a decision. "If they do delay, there will be problems," says Rivera, who adds that Zelaya will not recognize a national unity government to be set up this week if a decision on his return is not first reached.

Congress could reject Zelaya's return to office.

Many observers are wondering how the US, which has hailed the deal as an "historic agreement," will react if Zelaya is not voted back into power or if Honduran lawmakers stall.

For now, they have put their support behind the electoral process. Victor Rico, political affairs secretary of the Organization of American States (OAS), told the Associated Press that "the United States and the OAS will accompany Honduras in the elections."

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