Reconciliation will be the order of the day, proclaims Honduras’s new president, Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo, but despite his victory in the presidential election he will have his hands full. Apart from internal divisions, no less than eight Latin American states refuse to recognise this weekend’s election.
“Remember that from this moment on I will work to benefit all Hondurans. I will always love and care for my party, but I will not discriminate against any political party,” he said in his victory speech. Since June the 28th, when the Liberal party’s Manuel Zelaya was toppled in a coup, the country has been in political disarray. The defeated presidential candidate Elvin Santos promises a Liberal “opposition that will defend our institutions.” It seems a call to boycott the poll by Zelayas’s supporters had little effect. “We are all feeling very happy because Honduras has won. I even feel like crying because all Honduras is happy. It shows we are united, and that no-one can order us around or command us to do anything,” said one man. For the last two months Zelaya has been holed up in the Brazilian embassy in the Honduran capital, but after alienating a section of his own party his chance of a comeback appears slim. “As President of Honduras I declare this process illegal and illegitimate. It does not represent Honduras’s sovereign rights and should be annulled and redone legally,” he asserted defiantly.