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Monday, November 30, 2009

A Win For Hunduras- Electing Zelaya Rival Porfirio Lobo As President

Lobo won He won 56 percent of the vote, with over 60 percent of registered voters taking part.


....The leftist claims that Honduras could not hold fair elections flew in the face of the facts. First, the candidates were chosen in November 2008 primaries with observers from the OAS, which judged the process to be "transparent and participative." Second, all the presidential candidates—save one from a small party on the extreme left—wanted the elections to go forward. Third, though Mr. Insulza insisted on calling the removal of Mr. Zelaya a "military coup," the military had never taken charge of the government. And finally, the independent electoral tribunal, chosen by congress before Mr. Zelaya was removed, was continuing with the steps required to fulfill its constitutional mandate to conduct the vote. In the aftermath of the elections Mr. Insulza, who insisted that the group would not recognize the results, presides over a discredited OAS.

Honduras held an election yesterday for president and Congress, a successful election with almost 400 foreign observers from Japan, Europe, Latin America and the U.S..

The fact that the U.S. has said it will recognize their legitimacy shows that this reality eventually made its way to the White House. If not Hugo Chávez's Waterloo, Honduras's stand at least marks a major setback for the Venezuelan strongman's expansionist agenda.

The losers in this drama also include Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Spain, which all did their level best to block the election. Egged on by their zeal, militants inside Honduras took to exploding small bombs around the country in the weeks leading to the vote. They hoped that terror might damp turnout and delegitimize the process. They failed. Yesterday's civic participation appeared to be at least as good as it was in the last presidential election. Some polling stations reportedly even ran short, for a time, of the indelible ink used to mark voter pinkies.

Latin socialists tried to discredit Honduran democracy as part of their effort to force the reinstatement of deposed President Manuel Zelaya. Both sides knew that if that happened the electoral process would be in jeopardy.

Mr. Zelaya had already showed his hand when he organized a mob to try to carry out a June 28 popular referendum so that he could cancel the elections and remain in office. That was unlawful, and he was arrested by order of the Supreme Court and later removed from power by Congress for violating the constitution.

It is less well-known that as president, according to an electoral-council official I interviewed in Tegucigalpa two weeks ago, Mr. Zelaya had refused to transfer the budgeted funds—as required by law—to the council for its preparatory work. In other words, he didn't want a free election.

It bears mentioning here that originally, Barack Obama and his administration backed Zelaya and called the legitimate ousting of Zelaya, done by legal means from Congress to a judge ordering the military to do so, a "coup."

Hillary Clinton's words were:

"At the OAS General Assembly earlier this month in San Pedro Sula -- some of you were with me there -- the United States insisted that the larger debate on Cuba be framed within the OAS’s commitment to democracy and human rights. Along with key partners, we won a reaffirmation of the principles of democracy and constitutional order that define the Organization of American States. Now, the wisdom of our approach, I think, was evident yesterday when the OAS and the Inter-American Democratic Charter were used as a basis for our response to the coup that occurred."

Hot Air takes the New York Times to task for their incredibly dishonest reporting.

Mr. Zelaya, once a darling of the Honduran upper classes, fell from favor when he began increasing the minimum wage, reducing the price of fuel and allying himself with President Chávez. His critics say he crossed a line when he defied the Supreme Court and pushed a referendum to change the Constitution so that he could run for another term. The court called in the military

That poor Zelaya, hero of the working class and foe of the rich, huh? Except you and I both know that’s now what really happened. In this case, “his critics” included the entire government of Honduras. Zelaya did not merely defy the Supreme Court; he openly violated the Honduran constitution which is crystal clear on the matter of Presidents serving more than one term and on the penalty for anyone who even attempts to change that provision. Both the Supreme Court (which unanimous decision included members of Zelaya’s own party) and the Honduran legislature decided to remove Zelaya, even though they did not need to do so. Their actions were found appropriate by the Law Library of Congress. I suppose you could call all those people “his critics” but that does cover them under an umbrella of understatement that’s so obscure as to be misleading.

Which does seem to be the point.

It’s also worth noting that “his critics” also included every printing business in Honduras (none of which would print his illegal ballot, which is why he had them printed in Venezuela) and the head of the armed forces, General Romeo Vasquez, who refused to comply with his illegal order.

In other words, “his critics” include the whole of the Honduran government, the head of the Honduran armed forces, all the printers in Honduras, and the Law Library of the Congress of the United States. Biased or dishonest; you tell me.

Kudos to Honduras on their election.