In a deal brokered by senior US diplomats, an agreement has been reached that will potentially reinstate Manuel Zelaya as President of Honduras after he was was ousted in June. Under the agreement, interim President Roberto Micheletti will step down and Zelaya will resume his office until upcoming presidential elections at the end of November. The deal must still be approved by Honduras’ legislature, but it’s expected that both of the main presidential candidates will urge their governing body to act swiftly and ratify the agreement so that the Honduran elections may be recognized by the world community.
I had personally hoped that Zelaya would not be able to regain control inside his country after he attempted, in my opinion, to set in motion a path towards amending the Honduran constitution and allowing him to hold on to his power. What happened in Honduras was not a coup, as the legislature and the judiciary all acted in accordance with the Honduran constitution, which the Honduran military then executed (although their mistake was kicking Zelaya completely out of the country). It’s an opinion that’s shared by the Law Library of Congress, which concluded that Honduras was within its rights to remove Zelaya from power, and have stood by their report after shameful calls from Sen. John Kerry and Rep. Howard Berman for its retraction out of concerns for political expediency.
The one good thing about the deal is that Zelaya’s return will be extremely short-lived. Presidential elections take place on November 29th, and the head of the Honduran legislature has signalled they’re in no great rush to ratify the agreement. It would amount to giving Zelaya only a few short weeks back in power, which minimizes any chance of mischief.
And yet … nah. Zelaya surely isn’t be crazy enough to try to seize power in a kind of bizarre counter-coup. Though with Daniel Ortega and Hugo Chavez as buddies, you never know. Chances are good, though, that Zelaya will get a few more nights in the presidential mansion before becoming a footnote in Honduras’ history. Here’s hoping, anyway. Stop over at Fausta’s Blog for more reaction and roundup.