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Honduran interim government says open to early election
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14:26, July 03, 2009

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The Honduran interim government Thursday said it was open to an early election to resolve the country's political crisis, while ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya insisted he had no fear of returning home.

Roberto Micheletti, Hondura's interim president, told reporters that as long as it was within the law, he would have no objections to bringing forward a Nov. 29 presidential election in an effort to resolve the country's political problem caused by the ouster of Zelaya.

If there is a "political solution... we have no problem (advancing the elections), whenever it will be for the good of all Hondurans," Micheletti said, softening his previous stance.

In an interview with the HRN radio, Zelaya's defense minister Aristides Mejia said Zelaya has no idea of seeking a re-election and is willing to drop plans on constitutional amendments that led to his ouster.

Zelaya was removed from office in a military coup Sunday, just hours after some 200 soldiers surrounded his official residence and forced him to board a plane to Costa Rica.

A referendum scheduled for the same day on changing the country's constitution has put Zelaya at odds with the military, the courts and the legislature.

In the vote, Hondurans were to be asked whether they would back an official referendum in November, to be held alongside the scheduled presidential election, to change the constitution to allow a president to seek a reelection.

The oppositions accused Zelaya, whose current term expires in January next year, of seeking a reelection through the referendum, and the Supreme Court and the attorney general have announced that the vote was illegal.

The Honduran Congress announced later Sunday that Micheletti would replace Manuel Zelaya as the country's acting president.

In another development, more than 6,000 Zelaya's supporters staged their largest demonstration since the coup in the Honduran capital Thursday, while a roughly equal number of Micheletti's supporters held a rival rally in the country's second largest city of San Pedro Sula.


In Panama City, where Zelaya had a short stay for attending the inauguration ceremony of Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli before going to El Salvador, the ousted leader indicated that he may forgive the coup participants and was preparing for going home.

The coup plunged Honduras into a crisis and may lead to international isolation for the country, he told a press conference.

Zelaya also said that the secretary-general of the Organization of American States (OAS), Jose Miguel Insulza, will visit Honduras on Friday, shortly before the end of an OAS deadline for Honduras to bring back Zelaya or face a membership suspension, to deliver an ultimatum to coup leaders on Zelaya's reinstatement.

"I have no fear of returning," Zelaya said.

Zelaya, who vowed to return home this weekend, said several political figures, including Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and her Ecuadoran counterpart Rafael Correa Delgado, had been invited to join him on the trip.

Meanwhile, Insulza, who was in Guyana for a regional meeting, dismissed any idea of negotiating with the coup participants.

"We are not going to Honduras to negotiate, we are going to Honduras to ask them to change what they have been doing now, and find ways in which we can return to normalcy," he said.

Zelaya arrived in El Salvador late Thursday.

Source: Xinhua

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