Mark Weisbrot on Senator Lugar's Call to Recognize Honduran Election
Senator Richard Lugar's office has issued a statement supporting recognition of the Honduran elections on November 29. Just Foreign Policy President Mark Weisbrot comments:
This is not surprising, Lugar has been with his party leadership on this all along, including his letter in July that got the State Department to write their response that appeared to blame Zelaya for the coup.
has become a real cause for the Republican party leadership, which sees it as a strategic battle in their long-term fight against the Latin American left (which for them includes Lula). Although Lugar is of course different from them, for some reason he has joined with them in this battle. Honduras
This has to be a disappointment to people who see Lugar as a moderate, since it is tough for a moderate to defend the position that a a group of people can overthrow the elected president, arrest, jail, and beat thousands of people, torture and even kill some people, close down opposition media intermittently throughout the legally designated 3-month electoral campaign period, and then have a valid "election" -- no matter how "clean" it is on election day.
Lugar's statement will give some lobbyists, pundits, editors, etc. some ammunition to say that not only the wingnuts that hold this position.
The State Department effectively has the same position as Lugar in what it is trying to accomplish, but for now is reluctant to state it unambiguously, so as not to further distance itself from
Latin America. So it does help all parties, including the State Department, that want to legitimate the election.
But I don't think it changes the equation -- unless there are major changes on the international diplomatic front, which do not appear to be in the making, come November 30th
will still not have a government that is recognized by the region or the world as legitimate. And that means this problem doesn't go away. Honduras
U.S. Senator for
Date: 11/18/2009 • http://lugar.senate.gov
Contact: Andy Fisher • 202-224-2079 •
Lugar Supports Recognition of Honduran Election
U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Dick Lugar released the following statement in response to reports that Honduran lawmakers will not decide whether to restore ousted President Manuel Zelaya until after upcoming presidential elections scheduled for November 29. The Honduran Congress has said that it will meet Dec. 2 to decide if Zelaya should return to the presidency to finish his constitutional term, which ends in January 2010.
“I support the October 30 agreement that was adopted by both President Manuel Zelaya and de facto President Roberto Micheletti to end the Honduran political crisis. This agreement, negotiated with the help of the Organization of American States among others, allows the Honduran Congress, taking into account the opinion of the Supreme Court, to decide whether to reinstate President Zelaya for the remainder of his term. The agreement required both parties to abide by Congress’s decision. I understand that the Honduran Congress will vote on President Zelaya’s reinstatement after the November 29 election. This decision is consistent with the October 30 agreement,” Lugar said.
“I applaud the Department of State’s efforts to encourage implementation of the accord, as well as its commitment to fund election observation missions by both the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute. If the November 29 election meets international standards for fairness and transparency, I strongly support recognizing the results. Countries in the region,
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