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Honduras Holds Elections, Votes to Keep Ousted President Away

In a move that should strengthen foreign relations and the country’s standing in the international community, Honduras held the first free and transparent election since the military coup ousted former President Manuel Zelaya. The new President, Porfirio Lobo, a political fixture and rancher from the National Party, won a decisive victory over Elvin Santos from the Liberal Party. Some obstacles do remain in the crisis-laden Central American country. In October, the Tegucigalpa-San Jose Accord was signed, in which the Honduran Congress agreed to take up a vote to determine if former President Zelaya should be allowed to finish his term.

On Wednesday, the Honduran Congress overwhelmingly voted to not allow the former President to return to power to serve out his term. Congress’ vote was a strong indication that they believed President Zelaya violated the country’s constitution prior to the coup. Currently, Panama, Costa Rica, Peru, and Colombia have accepted the results and plan to recognize the results awarding Mr. Lobo the presidency. Unfortunately, Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela have expressed their disapproval of the elections and are still calling for President Zelaya’s return. The United States recognized the election results, but still emphasizes that more steps need to be taken for the country to regain legitimacy. The new government is scheduled to take office in January and it will be under a great amount of pressure to restore the country and provide a stable and productive government.

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