This short notice, derived from a longer original published by EFE, quotes President Zelaya's Minister of Defense, Arístides Mejía, as saying in Costa Rica that
President Manuel Zelaya does not have any intention of returning to the Presidency, because he has already governed enough, but he will continue promoting actions that will re-establish democratic and constitutional order, which has been violated by the coup d'Etat, that was jeaded by the present de facto government.The longer EFE article, quoting Mejía as well, puts it slightly differently, but the same conclusions can be drawn:
The deposed president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, has "no personal desire to return" to the country, except that he wishes to do so so that democratic order can be re-established.
"Zelaya, according to what I have seen, has no personal desire to return, since he already governed and there was already little lacking to finish" when the military detained and expelled him from the country
It is important to note that Mejía was speaking by phone on a program on Honduras' HRN radio station from Tegucigalpa, so these comments must be taken as addressed at Hondurans, not just the international community. He went on,
What [Zelaya] is doing is trying to re-establish democratic order in Honduras, like all the international community, which wishes that President Zelaya would return to finish his term so that it will legitimate" the electoral process.
"The problem is that if there is no democratic re-establishment, the elections (of next November) will not be recognized" declared Mejía.
Mejía responded in this way on being asked if [Zelaya] wished to return to Honduras despite the fact, as the government of Roberto Micheletti claims, that there is strong opposition to his return.
The minister of the deposed government affirmed that "the majority of the people continue being in favor of Manuel Zelaya".
The substance of these reports seems to be supported by statements in an Inter Press Service News Agency article as well, which clearly draws on the same article but adds this important addition:
Sources speaking off the record told IPS that one of the options being considered is the possibility that neither Zelaya nor Micheletti would govern the country until January, when the president's term is to end.One way out of the confrontation that has never been mentioned up until now has always been this: broker a deal in which President Zelaya is acknowledged to have continued as constitutional president; find some way to designate a third party who has not been tainted by association with the de facto regime to be somehow placed in line to step into the Presidency; and have the formally restored President resign in favor of that unity candidate.
This alternative, one of the sources said, "has begun to be mentioned in the last two weeks, given the growing polarisation in the country, and because the two sides have begun to show a degree of flexibility."
"Now the question is to convince ex-president Zelaya," said the source, who requested anonymity. "Through its ambassador in Honduras, Washington has sent a clear message: that it wants to overturn the coup d'etat. That is what Ambassador (Hugo) Llorens has told the country's elites."
According to the source, Washington "would not be ill-disposed towards a negotiated third option for the transition, since the election campaign will not be able to turn the page on this, like the politicians think, and if this isn't resolved in time, the election process will be marked by a great deal of instability."
The problem for me-- and as readers know, I have a pretty good grasp of the political landscape in Honduras-- is that this polarization has been so intense that I find it hard to image that there is anyone who could take that third-party role. And unless that person were designated as President of Congress, there is no constitutional way for the President to resign in his or her favor.
It would be ironic if the outcome of this entire episode were the installation of someone who perhaps was never even elected to any office through some sort of hastily passed congressional amendment suspending some part of the law of succession, but that is the only way I can see that a true third party caretaker could take office legally.
Or, maybe the point here is to get the word out in Honduras about the potential illegitimacy of any election under the de facto regime-- and to begin to counter the demonization of President Zelaya, who has now been painted so inescapably as being intent on staying in office that simply saying "he really would rather not come back to try to pick up the pieces after Micheletti broke things" merits headlines.