Responses to the Coup d'etat in Honduras on Sunday June 28, with special emphasis on producing English-language versions of commentaries by Honduran scholars and editorial writers and addressing the confusion encouraged by lack of basic knowledge about Honduras.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

"No chance Zelaya will be allowed to return": Ortez Colindres

Micheletti's notorious former Foreign Minister, Enrique Ortez Colindres, told BBC Mundo today that Micheletti's request to Arias for someone such as Enrique Iglesias to come and talk to all social sectors in Honduras is not meant to lead to an acceptance of the San Jose Accord.

Ortez Colindres said that the purpose of these conversations is only for Iglesias to hear from many distinct groups (presumably, he hopes, voicing a single pro-coup message):

It isn't the conversations that will provide an exit for the people, rather, the elections in November

(No son las conversaciones que las van a darle una salida al pueblo, sino las elecciones de noviembre)

Instead, he says, the purpose of calling for the dialog is to get the de facto regime's point of view listened to by "prestigious people" (personas de prestigio).

According to Ortez Colindres:

There is not even a minimal chance that Zelaya will come back to Honduras, there is no possibility for an arrangement of this type

(No hay la más minima posibilidad de que Zelaya regrese a Honduras, no hay ninguna posibilidad de arreglo en este sentido)


Doug Zylstra said...


What do you think about the possibility of Zelaya's wife running as third party candidate? Hernan Baltonado had brought it up on Radio Globo, and was very positive about her chances. Especially if, as you write above, this thing gets drawn out and Zelaya never does return to the Presidency, there would seem to be enough impetus to make it happen. If the LP and NP split the vote, I could see where she could win with only 35-40% of the vote.

RAJ said...

My partner and I were discussing this, and he argued that it may be too late for this November's election, because the placement of candidates has already been decided for the ballot. So I went off to look at electoral law.

And it is absolutely not possible, it turns out, because the Constitution forbids various categories of people from running for the Presidency, and this includes the family members of anyone who was president during the preceding year.

Doug Zylstra said...


..and Cesar Ham?

RAJ said...

Cesar Ham is in Honduras, is still the candidate for President for the UD party, and his place on the November presidential ballot will be #5; Nacionalista Pepe Lobo drew #1, Elvin Santos of the Liberal party #4.

Of course, Cesar Ham continues to participate in protests and the de facto regime continues to include him as a target of its spurious "investigations" of supposed crimes. The Honduran press regularly blackens his name with these innuendos.

Which, along with the lack of civil liberty in the country, will make campaigning difficult, once the candidates are allowed to campaign starting September 1.

If there is no resolution of the crisis before that date, I would argue that no international recognition of the November election can take place. I sincerely hope that someone is explaining that in simple terms to the de facto regime. Micheletti, of course, has just announced he will only cede the presidency to someone other than President Zelaya, confirming that his recent statements have been misleading delaying tactics.

If a free election were held now, it is hard to predict what would happen. Pepe Lobo and his party hope that the entire situation will have so blackened the Liberal Party that they can win. Whether third parties will gain from this situation is really hard to say.

My prediction would be that participation levels will decline again and that whoever is elected in November will again have less than a majority of the vote, making the next administration even more beset by lack of public perception of legitimacy.

Doug Zylstra said...

"If there is no resolution of the crisis before that date, I would argue that no international recognition of the November election can take place. I sincerely hope that someone is explaining that in simple terms to the de facto regime."

Yeah, I am flummoxed as to their reasoning here. I can't fathom how they don't recognize that Inauguration day is not a magical, clean the slate sort of thing. Even if you concede that the EU and the US will eventually reverse itself a bit, and come to some sort of recognition of the new government, that is certainly not going to happen soon, and in the meantime, there is going to be alot of suffering

Nell said...

The most interesting question to me is about the candidacy of Carlos Reyes, who's running as an independent (no party). He's in the #6 spot (which a Honduran paper referred to as one of the two "privileged" positions, the other being Pepe Lobo's #1).

It's excellent that an independent popular movement leader got onto the ballot, but it seems as if it would be likely to split the votes of those voters supporting progressive change and more popular participation in government.

Could the idea be to expand the electorate, bringing in voters too disenchanted to vote for any of the parties (even UD), with the further idea of carrying them along in a future election as part of a unity ticket that brings together UD, independent, and dissident Liberal voters? With, hypothetically, Xiomara Castro de Zelaya as the candidate...