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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Honduras Votes Not to Reinstate Zelaya

Last week, Honduras finally held their elections.

On November 29, the people of Honduras took a step toward resolving the five-month political and diplomatic crisis that has divided and impoverished their nation. Voters selected a new president, legislators, and municipal councils through a constitutionally scheduled election process that was universally acknowledged by observers to be free, fair, and transparent. The U.S. should swiftly endorse the election results and work with the incoming Lobo team to rebuild U.S.-Honduran relations.

The winner wasn't nearly as important as the fact that turnout was brisk, up to 60% of the population, and that there was no visible signs of fraud and intimidation. In fact, the only one challenging the legitimacy of the election was its deposed former leader Jose Zelaya. Zelaya claims that the turnout was much smaller, in the neighborhood of 40% and he claims widespread fraud and intimidation.

Then, earlier this week, the Honduran voted again to keep Zelaya from returning to power.

Honduras' Congress ended hopes of reversing a coup that has isolated one of the poorest countries in the Americas, voting against reinstating ousted President Manuel Zelaya despite intense international pressure to do so.The vote Wednesday was part of a U.S.-brokered deal to end Honduras' crisis that left it up to Congress to decide if Zelaya should be restored to office for the final two months of his term - and lawmakers voted against the idea by a resounding 111-14 margin.

So, the Zelaya era is officially over and elections have been held. The only thing left is for the U.S., and the world community, to recognize the elections and the government and restore relations. Honduras is a third world nation constantly on the brink of civil war. Without international support and recognition, this government will fall, chaos will reign, and something much worse than Jose Zelaya will come to power.

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