Zelaya Refuses to Leave

It’s nearly three months since the former Honduran President, Manuel Zelaya, returned from exile and sought refuge in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa, but still no deal has been made to remove him from his current hideout.

Originally Honduran officials insisted Zelaya would be arrested on the charges that led to his ousting on 28 June 2009 when he attempted to hold a vote aimed at rewriting the constitution and removing the current one-term presidency limit. It was thought that he was trying to extend his own term in power.

However, recently the interim government said that they would allow him to leave the embassy in the capital if he accepted political asylum and went into exile in another country.

Honduras and Mexico have been in talks to organise Zelaya’s safe passage out of his homeland, but it’s been reported these fell through late last night (8 December 2009) when the former president refused to leave.
Zelaya said: ‘I am not seeking asylum in any other country. I want to leave as a distinguished guest, not as a political refugee.’

Global support for Zelaya, which five months ago strongly condemned his removal from office, has dwindled considerably. At first Obama refused to recognise any other government brought in by the military, but the US President has since accepted the newly elected Porfirio Lobo as the leader of Honduras. 

Although Lobo’s term in office will not officially begin until 27 January, he is currently travelling abroad in a bid to recapture the international support that his predecessor has jeopardised.

 But will he be successful?

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