UNITED NATIONS – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday that conditions in Honduras, the scene in June of a military coup, make “credible” elections impossible, leading him to suspend electoral assistance to the Central American nation.
Ban made the decision in the wake of ousted President Mel Zelaya’s surprise return to Honduras early this week, U.N. spokesperson Michele Montas said.
The European Union announced recently that it would not send observers for Honduras’ Nov. 29 general elections, while the United States said it would not recognize the winner of the presidential vote if the de facto regime continues to defy demands for Zelaya’s reinstatement.
Montas said the United Nations is concerned about human rights violations committed by Honduran security forces as they dispersed Zelaya supporters outside the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa, where the deposed head of state has been holed up since Monday
Ban urged the coup regime to respect the international human rights conventions signed by Honduras and to guarantee the “inviolability” of the Brazilian mission, the spokesperson said.
She added that Ban joins the Organization of American States and others in calling for dialogue between Zelaya and the de facto government led by Roberto Micheletti.
Zelaya was arrested and expelled from the country by the military on June 28, when a plurality of lawmakers designated Congress speaker Micheletti as head of government.
Micheletti says Zelaya’s ouster was not a coup, insisting that the soldiers who dragged him from the presidential palace were simply enforcing a Supreme Court ban on the president’s planned non-binding plebiscite on the idea of revising the constitution.
While the coup leaders accuse Zelaya of seeking to extend his stay in office, any potential constitutional change to allow presidential re-election would not have taken place until well after the incumbent stepped down.
Latin American nations, the United States and the European Union have been pressing Micheletti to accept the San Jose Accord, a proposal put forward by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias.
The plan calls for Zelaya to return and lead a national unity government for the few months left in his term, and for a political amnesty that would protect both the coup plotters and the ousted head of state, who stands accused of various offenses by the de facto regime.
While Zelaya has accepted the plan, Micheletti flatly rejects the reinstatement of the elected head of state. EFE