[Guest post by DRJ]
When we last checked into Honduras, it had accepted a U.S.-brokered deal to proceed with its Presidential election provided the government also considered reinstating former President Manuel Zelaya. In a bold move, the President of the Honduran Congress scheduled its vote after the November 29, 2009, presidential election.
Now the Honduran Congress has voted overwhelmingly not to reinstate Zelaya:
“With the vote continuing, more than two-thirds of lawmakers [in the Honduran Congress] had voted not to return the deposed president to power for the remainder of his term, which ends Jan. 27, as Washington and many Latin American governments had urged. Honduran media put the ongoing vote at 98-12.
That was well over the simple majority needed in the 128-member, single-chamber Congress for the vote against restoring Zelaya to succeed.
Zelaya himself, who listened to the proceedings from his refuge in the Brazilian Embassy, had said he wouldn’t return for a token two months even if asked. He urged other governments not to restore ties with the incoming administration of Porfirio Lobo, who won Sunday’s presidential election.
Honduras’ interim leaders have proven remarkably resistant to diplomatic arm-twisting since the June 28 coup, rejecting near universal demands that Zelaya be restored to his office before the previously scheduled election. Now lawmakers have even snubbed international demands that he be allowed to serve the final two months of his presidency.
Lawmaker after lawmaker insisted Wednesday that they were right the first time when they voted to oust Zelaya for ignoring a Supreme Court order to cancel a referendum on changing the constitution. That vote happened hours after soldiers stormed into Zelaya’s residence and flew him into exile in his pajamas.”
As one Honduran patriot-lawmaker said:
“My vote is (a lesson) for anyone who pretends to perpetuate himself in power. My vote is so that my son can look at me and say ‘Dad you defended democracy,’ said Antonio Rivera of Lobo’s conservative National Party.”
We could use more leaders like this in the United States.