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Honduran election sham
Sunday, November 15, 2009 : The de facto Honduran government of Roberto Micheletti, installed by a coup d'état which overthrew President Manuel Zelaya on June 28, appears to be resorting to some very strange electoral tactics.
National elections are scheduled for Nov. 29, and neither Zelaya nor Micheletti, both of whom belong to the Liberal Party, are candidates. Rather than the deeply divided liberals, opinion polls are showing Pepe Lobo, presidential candidate of the right-wing National Party, ahead.
But many Hondurans appear to be disgusted with the whole system. Polls also show that about half the eligible voters do not plan to vote. Although electoral participation in Honduras has been low before, this year's political uproar could have been expected to bring out large numbers of voters.
On the left, some candidates, including Rodolfo Padilla, the incumbent mayor of San Pedro Sula, Honduras' second largest city, and independent left-wing presidential candidate Carlos Reyes, have announced they are withdrawing their candidacies in protest against conditions under which the elections are being conducted.
The demand of the left has been that before the elections, Zelaya and constitutional normality had to be restored. Otherwise, the elections would be carried out under repressive conditions, with anti-coup candidates and their supporters under danger of arrest or worse and left-leaning media semi-suppressed, while pro-coup candidates and media face no such restrictions.
An agreement patched together on Oct. 30, whereby Zelaya would be returned to the presidency as party of a "national unity" government, collapsed almost immediately, when allies of Micheletti in Congress refused to vote on the proposal to return Zelaya until possibly after the elections, and Micheletti unilaterally declared himself to be head of the "unity" government, excluding Zelaya.Read More