Supporters of ousted Honduran leader Manuel Zelaya continue to protest on his behalf – despite an election that has handed another man the presidency.
“We didn’t vote” they proclaimed at a rally in Tegucigalpa. But official figures put the turnout at more than 60 percent, indicating Zelaya’s call for a boycott was ineffective. His opponent Porfirio Lobo from the centre-right opposition National Party was declared winner of Sunday’s poll with some 55 percent of the vote. Appealing for national unity, Lobo said he was focussing on the future. “Zelaya is history,” he told reporters. “He is part of the past.” Latin American leaders meeting at the Ibero- American summit in Portugal are split over the election. Diplomatic heavyweight Brazil refuses to acknowledge Lobo’s win. Patricia Rodas was foreign minster in the toppled Honduran government. According to Rodas, most countries in the international community condemn what she describes as an illegitimate attempt to whitewash a military coup. But, significantly, the United States which tried and failed to have Zelaya reinstated, has shown every sign it will recognise the results. The ousted leader himself remains holed up in Brazil’s Embassy in Honduras.