Deal clears way for end of Honduran crisis
Four months after the coup that exiled the President, the US brokers an historic accord
Saturday 31 October 2009
Both sides in the political crisis that has gripped Honduras for months appear close to settling their differences, after signing a peace deal that is likely to see the country's ousted President, Manuel Zelaya, temporarily return to power.
The interim government of Roberto Micheletti, installed after a coup in June, agreed on Thursday to allow Mr Zelaya back. He will serve out the remaining three months of his term, sharing power with the court system and Congress.
"I think my restitution is imminent. It's not going to happen in two days, but it will over the next few days," Mr Zelaya said yesterday. "This signifies my return to power... and peace for Honduras. It's a triumph for Honduran democracy."
The exact terms of the agreement were not released, but an election, scheduled for November 29, is now expected go ahead under the watchful eye of the international community. Its victor will be entitled to replace Mr Zelaya in January.
The army, which backed the original coup, will now be controlled by the country's electoral court. The new deal will create both a "verification commission" to ensure that both sides fulfil their commitments, and a "truth commission" to investigate the events of the past four months.
Mr Micheletti told Hondurans on TV that the "final accord" marks "the beginning of the end to the political situation in the country." By allowing Mr Zelaya to return to office he had made a "significant concession", he added.
The former president was removed from office on 28 June, when he was woken before dawn by soldiers and frogmarched to an airport in Tegucigalpa, the nation's capital, in his pyjamas. He was put on a flight to Costa Rica, and Mr Micheletti installed as his replacement. But last month Mr Zelaya smuggled himself back into Honduras in the boot of a car, since when he has been holed up in the Brazilian embassy.
Tensions had been simmering in the Central American country for months. Mr Zelaya started his political life on the centre-right, but lurched dramatically leftwards in office.
His close relationship with Veneuzela's colourful leader Hugo Chavez, and other left-leaning politicians in the region, upset the landowning and business communities, as well as many within his own party. Like Mr Chavez, Mr Zelaya was further accused of seeking to extend term limits so he could remain in office indefinitely, which is a charge he strongly denies. The deal represents a notable success for Barack Obama's administration, which had lobbied hard for the restoration of democracy in its near neighbour. Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, called it "an historic agreement". She told reporters: "I cannot think of another example of a country in Latin America that, having suffered a rupture of its democratic and constitutional order, overcame such a crisis through negotiation and dialogue."
- 1 The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
- 2 Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
- 3 Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
- 4 iPhone 5c to be discontinued, no iPhone 6c to replace it
The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
Spain accused of 'provocation' after letting Russian submarine refuel off Gibraltar
Allonautilus scrobiculatus: World's 'rarest' creature spotted for only the third time ever
Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs
£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...