Crisis grips Honduras again

Power-sharing deal collapses as Zelaya refuses to join govt

Crisis grips Honduras again


Zelaya refused to join a new “unity” government on Friday after it became clear he would not be heading it. “The accord is dead,” he told Radio Globo. “There is no sense in deceiving Hondurans,” he added.

The leftist leader, toppled and exiled in a coup four months ago, signed up to a US-brokered pact last week thinking it would be his ticket back to power. But opponents in the Honduran congress delayed a decision on Zelaya’s reinstatement and the de facto president, Roberto Micheletti, went ahead with forming a new administration without his rival. The accord had set a Thursday midnight deadline for the new government and left the decision over Zelaya’s return to power in the hands of congress.

“It is absurd what they are doing, trying to mock all of us, the people who elected me and the international community that supports me. We have decided not to continue this theatre with Micheletti,” Zelaya said. He urged Hondurans to boycott a presidential election slated for November 29 in which neither he nor Micheletti are candidates — raising the spectre of a discredited poll and continued crisis. The de facto regime appeared to be bracing for fresh street demonstrations in the capital, Tegucigalpa. Local television showed soldiers, tanks and military vehicles reinforcing positions around the Brazilian embassy where Zelaya has holed up since slipping back into the country last month.

Micheletti said the new caretaker administration would rule until the January swearing-in of the election winner.

The de facto authorities have the support of many middle class and conservative Hondurans as well as the supreme court, congress and military. They mistrusted Zelaya’s leftward tilt and alliance with Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chavez.
Curfews, media curbs, teargas and mass arrests have been used to suppress protests by Zelaya’s mostly poor supporters. Several have died.

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