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    03 July 2009

    New Honduran leader ‘open’ to vote

    The new leadership in Honduras has said it may accept early elections in the face of mounting international criticism of last week’s army coup.
    Demonstrators protesting the overthrow of President Manuel Zelaya took to the streets in the country’s second city of San Pedro Sula, defying a decree giving the security forces stronger powers to detain suspects.

    Zelaya was deposed after proposing constitutional change to allow him a second term. The interim President ruled out his return, but adopted a more conciliatory tone.

    “I am totally willing to accept early elections, as long as it is withing the framework of the law. I have no objection if it helps solve the problem,” said Roberto Micheletti.

    The coup has split Honduras, with Micheletti supporters also demonstrating in San Pedro Sula, and pressure is mounting abroad. The Organisation of American States has demanded Zelaya’s reinstatement by Sunday and has threatened to impose sanctions if he is not.

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