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Brazil to reconsider stance on Honduras’ elections

December 4th, 2009
Manuel Zelaya

Manuel Zelaya

The decision made by the Honduran Congress to reject the restoration of ousted President Manuel Zelaya compelled Brazil to reconsider its stance of not recognizing the Nov. 29 elections.

On Wednesday, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim both reiterated that the government’s position is to deny the legitimacy of the Honduran electoral process and not recognize the elected president, Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo.

However, they both immediately stated that they need time to evaluate the facts in Honduras and reposition their stance.

Local observers said the Brazilian foreign ministry’s strategy is to wait for changes in Honduras’ domestic politics to make its decision.

They added that the Brazilian diplomats are waiting for further cues from the Organization of American States (OAS) and other countries in the region.

The Brazilian officials also said the government may reconsider its decision if the Honduran authorities show respect for democratic principles, which they called a process of “democratic baptism.”

They said the Brazilian representatives won’t make a hurried decision because the Brazilian government is likely to announce a possible change of position after analyzing the changing domestic situation and political developments in Honduras.

On Friday the OAS held an extraordinary meeting to establish an official position on the elections in Honduras and on the Congress’ decision to reject Zelaya’s return to power.

For Brazil’s foreign authorities, the fulfillment of the agreement permitting the return of the ousted president would have been ideal.

According to international negotiators, it is also essential to discuss the issue of national reconciliation in Honduras, which would involve a kind of unity government to function as a transitional government.

Zelaya was overthrown by a coup on June 28 and was forced into exile in Costa Rica. He returned to Tegucigalpa on Sept. 21 and has taken refuge in the Brazilian embassy in the capital of Honduras with a group of supporters.

The embassy building is surrounded by the military. There are limitations regarding the admittance of persons, animals, and materials. The tension is permanent.

The Brazilian authorities have reaffirmed that the ousted president can remain at the embassy as long as necessary because he is a guest of Brazil.


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