Ousted Honduras President Manuel Zelaya sent a letter to Latinamerican leaders asking them to reject elections held under the de facto regime that decided his arrest and forced exile to Costa Rica June 28.
I ask you not to recognise the electoral fraud and for your cooperation so that this military coup does not go unpunished Zelaya said in a letter released from the Brazilian Embassy, where he is holed up since he sneaked back to Tegucigalpa in September.
Honduras Sunday presidential election has divided Latinamerican countries. While a few of them support the United States initiative to recognize the ballot if held under democratic guarantees, which seems to be the case, the rest, led by Brazil, argue that under no circumstances will they accept elections results held under a de facto government born out of a coup. The US further argues that the controversial election must be seen as “a first step out of the five month crisis” in Honduras.
Conservative Porfirio Lobo has been accepted as the winner of the Sunday election by all candidates including Elvin Santos from Zelaya’s Liberal party. Lobo is a member of Honduras' traditional ruling elite and narrowly lost the last presidential election to Zelaya in 2005.
Brazilian President Lula da Silva warned Tuesday that cooperating with Lobo would pose a serious threat to democracy in Latinamerica.
Lobo says he will seek to form a national unity government in an attempt to overcome deep rifts in the impoverished and polarised nation.
But top Zelaya aide Carlos Reina, who left the Brazilian embassy earlier, said Lobo had not made any attempt to talk to Zelaya - who was ousted after critics said he acted against the constitution and tried to illegally extend term limits.
Zelaya accepts no dialogue with the de facto government which aims to whitewash the coup, Reina added. The elections have to be cancelled.
The Honduran Congress is expected to vote this week on the reinstatement of Zelaya, which is part of an agreement brokered in October by the US and the Organization of American States, OAS. However the controversy was if the vote had to be taken before or after the election.
Some observers see Zelaya's reinstatement as a possible way out of the crisis, and a way to add legitimacy to Lobo's presidency. Lobo is scheduled to be sworn in as Honduras next president January 27.