Friday, 4 December 2009

Colin Burgon MP welcomes Government description of Honduras election as not valid – Calls for non–recognition of Honduras government.

Colin Burgon MP has welcomed the comments by Foreign Office Minister Chris Bryant that the Honduran elections held on Sunday could not be “valid” as they did not take place under elected President Manuel Zelaya.  He called on the government to not recognise the Honduras government.

In a House of Commons debate on Tuesday 1 December, Foreign and Commonwealth Minister Chris Bryant MP said:

“We made it clear before the elections that we believed that President Zelaya should not have been removed from power, and that if the elections were to be valid, they had to be engaged in under President Zelaya. “

Mr Bryant also added that “Without his return before the end of his term, which is at the end of January, it will be impossible to believe that those were proper elections. However, we recognise and welcome the fact that the elections that did take place did so in a peaceful situation.”

In response Colin Burgon MP said:

“The government is totally correct when it says that these elections can not be valid. They took place against a backdrop of brutal repression that has seen at least 20 people killed, more than 600 people wounded and beaten and 3500 people detained since June.”

He added: “Most Latin American countries, led by Brazil, say they won't recognize a coup-backed government. I encourage the British government to do the same.”

Regarding reports from Honduras of repression that took place around the election, Mr Burgon said:

“These elections were neither free nor fair. Many thousands of soldiers were deployed across Honduras to oversee the election and an official State of Emergency was enacted. The UN, the Organisation of American States and the US-based Carter Centre did not send observers to the Honduras election. In the run up to the election Amnesty International denounced the atmosphere of intimidation and election day itself was marred by reports of police violence and intimidation”.

Chris Bryant’s statement was made on 1 December and can be found here: