Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Hondurans Want Micheletti to Step Down

October 19, 2009

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) - Most people in Honduras think interim president Roberto Micheletti should resign, according to a poll by COIMER&OP. 60.1 per cent of respondents say the de-facto head of state should step down, while 22.2 per cent disagree.

In November 2005, Liberal Party (PL) candidate Manuel Zelaya won the presidential election with 49.9 per cent of all cast ballots, defeating Porfirio Lobo Sosa of the conservative National Party (PN). Less than 69,000 votes separated the two contenders. Zelaya took office in January 2006.

On Jun. 28, a group of military officers stormed into Zelaya’s residence and took him to the airport, where he was flown to Costa Rica.

On that same day, Hondurans were supposed to vote in a non-binding referendum proposed by the president. Voters were to decide whether they should be consulted in an election scheduled for November on the potential creation of a Constituent Assembly to re-write the Constitution.

The Honduran Supreme Court had deemed the plebiscite illegal, but the president had decided to go ahead with the vote. Opponents claimed that Zelaya planned to ultimately alter the Constitution in order to scrap presidential term limits and instate a "socialist" model. But Zelaya denied this, saying that the national frame of laws needed an update and that changes would only happen after the end of his term—so he could not be really planning to run for re-election.

Micheletti—the Congress leader and also a PL member—was appointed interim president that same day. The Supreme Court had issued a secret arrest warrant for Zelaya on Jun. 26.

Costa Rican president Óscar Arias—a Nobel Peace Prize laureate—is currently leading efforts to solve the Honduran crisis, promoting a dialogue between Zelaya and the interim administration. The Organization of American States (OAS) is also involved. Zelaya is currently staying at the Brazilian embassy in Honduras, in order to evade the arrest warrant.

Hondurans are supposed to vote in a general election on Nov. 29, but the interim government is pondering whether to hold the ballot at an earlier date.

On Oct. 13, Zelaya said that he must be reinstated as president before the next election, declaring, "Elections without the reinstatement of the constitutional [elected] president would legitimize and authorize more coups."

Polling Data

Should de-facto president Roberto Micheletti step down?

Yes 60.1%

No  22.2%

Not sure 17.7%

Source: Consultores en Investigación de Mercados y Opinión Pública (COIMER&OP)