Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Ongoing pressure needed to ensure return of President Zelaya

Elected Honduras President, Manuel Zelaya, yesterday called for ongoing international pressure to ensure the deal around his return to office is implemented, in the face of prevarication and delay from coup backers. A statement from the Constitutional Government on November 3 said:

    "We call upon the international community to remain vigilant so that [there is] compliance with the Agreement [and] Congress agrees the immediate return of the Constitutional President Jose Manuel Zelaya Rosales - the only way to return to Constitutional Order, full respect of Human Rights and Constitutional Guarantees, and full respect for international law."

The Zelaya government communiqué also called on the international community not to recognise the November 29 elections until the full implementation of the Accord.

Though a deal was reached last week in Honduras that would see the return of President Zelaya to office, this has so far this has not been implemented. The coup installed President of the Honduran Congress, Jose Alfredo Saavedra, yesterday deferred a vote on the reinstatement of deposed President Zelaya and instead asked the Supreme Court for its view. No date has yet been set fro Congress to meet to implement the reinstatement of President Zelaya despite the accord being agreed 6 days ago. The BBC reports that "Correspondents say the latest move may lead to the collapse of the agreement". Speaking on Monday, Congressional leader Jose Alfredo Saavedra said he would not rush Congress's vote on the accord, despite calls from foreign diplomats not to delay.

Organisation of Americas’ Secretary, Jose Miguel Insulza, has urged Congress to restore President Zelaya and has called for an emergency meeting of the OAS next week to lift the sanctions against Honduras on condition that they restore Zelaya. Insulza told Honduran MPs: "Stop the rhetoric and reinstate Zelaya".

Ricardo Lagos, a member of the Verification Commission that will implement the Micheletti-Zelaya agreement has made it clear that the spirit of the agreement involves the immediate restoration of Zelaya. Lagos together with Hilda Solis (US Labour Secretary) have visited Zelaya in the Brazilian embassy. Hundreds of candidates for elections scheduled later this month from the Liberal Party, the PINUSD Party (100 out a total of 125 candidates) and other political formations have stated unambiguously that they will withdraw from the election if there is no democratic restoration

There is a permanent mass vigil outside the Honduran Congress demanding the implementation of the agreement and the reinstatement of President Zelaya.