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Honduran Election Must Be Free And Fair


Honduran Election Must Be Free And Fair

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Steps continue in Honduras to advance national reconciliation following the June 28 coup that removed President Manuel Zelaya. The United States continues to work with both parties to implement the Tegucigalpa–San Jose Accord to restore normalcy in the country.

The President of the Honduran Congress, Jose Alberto Saavedra, announced on November 18 that the Honduran Congress would vote on December 2 on the restoration of President Zelaya to office for the remainder of his term. This action is an important step in implementing the Tegucigalpa-San Jose Accord agreed to in October as a road map for returning the nation to constitutional rule.

Another step in implementing the Tegucigalpa-San Jose Accord was taken the evening of November 19, when Roberto Micheletti, the head of the de facto regime, announced that he would be taking a leave of absence from his responsibilities from November 25 to December 2. The United States welcomes this step and expects it to be implemented promptly.

Doing so will greatly enhance prospects that the national election set for November 29 will be free and open. It is also important that they be peaceful and respectful of human rights. All parties should recognize that how the election is conducted will determine how it is viewed by the international community, and whether it is a legitimate expression of the will of the Honduran people.

These actions hopefully enhance prospects that the national election set for November 29 will be free and fair. It is also important that the elections are peaceful and that all parties respect the human rights of individual Honduran citizens. All parties should recognize that the manner in which the election is conducted will be a determining factor in how it is viewed by the international community, and whether it will be perceived as a legitimate expression of the will of the Honduran people.

The United States will continue to encourage both parties to implement the remaining provisions of the Accord, such as the composition of the National Unity Government. The important thing to remember is that the solution to this Honduran crisis is in Honduran hands. Reconciliation depends on acting expeditiously and in the spirit of the accord, allowing Honduras to rejoin the international community of nations.

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