Honduras unity talks 'fail'
Ousted president says he will not support government headed by the de facto leader.
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2009 07:41 GMT
Zelaya has been living in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa since late September [AFP]

Supporters of Honduras's ousted president, Manuel Zelaya, and the de facto leader, Roberto Micheletti, have failed to create a unity cabinet.

Micheletti had said he would preside over the swearing-in of a national unity and reconciliation government.

But Zelaya and his supporters said on Friday they will not participate in any government led by Micheletti.

Al Jazeera's Lucia Newman, reporting from the capital Tegucigalpa, said intense negotiations were continuing.

"Sources here tell me that if there is any sign of progress, the deadline to confirm a unity cabinet will be extended," she said.

"The National Resistance Front, a group supporting Zelaya, also said that if the deposed president is not reinstated by midnight local time, they will call for a boycott of the November elections. They also warn that unrest in this country will escalate."

Under a deal brokered by the US last week, a Honduran unity government was to be established on Thursday.

No deadline

The decision about whether to reinstate Zelaya was left to the Honduran congress, but the deal did not include a deadline for politicians to decide on his possible return.

Zelaya's refusal to support a national unity government came after he accused Micheletti of seeking to buy more time until polls for a new president at the end of the month.

Zelaya, who has been living in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa since his return in September, decided on Thursday that he would not present any candidates for the unity government, according to Rasel Tome, a Zelaya adviser.

Zelaya's supporters have warned if he is not reinstated, violence will escalate [AFP]

"If there's no president, who will swear them [the new ministers] in?" Tome told AFP news agency.

The crisis deal, signed last Friday, calls for a unity government to start work on November 5.

It also calls for a return to the situation prior to June 28, when soldiers escorted Zelaya out of the country, and calls for the congress to vote on his return.

It provides no alternative if politicians reject the vote.

Jose Angel Saavedra, the president of the congress, said on Thursday that the 128-member body would not "avoid the historic responsibility" of deciding on Zelaya's return to power, but failed to give a date for the vote.

Zelaya was forced from power on June 28, the same day that he planned to hold a non-binding referendum on changes to the constitution that had faced opposition in the country's congress and supreme court.

Opponents of the ousted leader say that the public vote was intended to measure support for an extension to presidential term limits, in Zelaya's favour.

Zelaya has dismissed those claims, saying that the vote was aimed at improving the lives of the poor in the nation of 7.6 million people.

Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
In run-up to US midterm elections, backers of immigration law changes disappointed by postponement of executive action.
As China reneges on pledged free elections, Tiananmen-style democracy movement spreads out across Hong Kong.
Acquitted of murdering his girlfriend, S African double amputee athlete still has a long and bumpy legal road ahead.
California school officials work with local community and Arab-American rights group to reach suitable compromise.
Families of disappeared persons have little recourse in finding their loved ones as gang violence remains rampant.
join our mailing list