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Page last updated at 07:42 GMT, Monday, 29 June 2009 08:42 UK

New Honduran leader sets curfew

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Zelaya supporters build makeshift barricades

Interim President Roberto Micheletti has imposed an overnight curfew in Honduras, hours after being sworn in.

The Congress speaker took office after troops ousted elected leader Manuel Zelaya and flew him to Costa Rica.

The removal of Mr Zelaya came amid a power struggle over his plans for constitutional change.

Mr Zelaya, who had been in office since 2006, wanted to hold a referendum that could have led to an extension of his non-renewable four-year term.

Polls for the referendum had been due to open early on Sunday - but troops instead took him from the presidential palace and flew him out of the country.

The ousting of Manuel Zelaya has been criticised by regional neighbours, the US and the United Nations.

FROM BBC WORLD SERVICE

Mr Micheletti told a news conference that a nationwide curfew was being imposed for Sunday and Monday, running from 2100 (0300 GMT) to 0600 (1200 GMT) on each night.

The BBC's Stephen Gibbs, reporting from the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa, said roads were deserted and only a handful of protesters remained on the streets.

Many Hondurans say there is a total lack of information about what has happened to their country and their president, our correspondent adds.

Days of tension

The swearing in of Roberto Micheletti - constitutionally second in line for the presidency - was greeted with applause in Congress.

Honduran President Manuel Zelaya in Costa Rica on Sunday 28 June 2009

This was a plot by a very voracious elite, which wants to keep this country in an extreme level of poverty
President Manuel Zelaya

In a speech, he said that he had not assumed power "under the ignominy of a coup d'etat".

The army had complied with the constitution, he said, and he had reached the presidency "as the result of an absolutely legal transition process".

Congress said he would serve until 27 January, when Mr Zelaya's term was due to expire. Presidential elections are planned for 29 November and Mr Micheletti promised these would go ahead.

Both Congress and the courts had opposed Mr Zelaya's referendum, which asked Hondurans to endorse a vote on unspecified constitutional changes alongside the November elections.

Tensions over the issue had been escalating for several days, with the army refusing to help with preparations for the referendum.

Just before dawn on Sunday, troops stormed the president's residence. There was confusion over his whereabouts for several hours before he turned up in Costa Rica.

Mr Zelaya called his ouster "a plot by a very voracious elite, an elite which wants only to keep this country isolated, in an extreme level of poverty".

Troops arrest Honduran president

He urged Hondurans to resist those who had removed him and late on Sunday flew to Nicaragua for a meeting of regional leaders.

Congress said it had voted to remove him because of his "repeated violations of the constitution and the law and disregard of orders and judgments of the institutions".

One man told the BBC that he had been in the city's main square all day, along with 2,000 Zelaya supporters. Jeronimo Pastor described the situation as tense and called on the international community to get involved.

But another resident of the capital said people were relieved at Mr Zelaya's removal. "Now we have a new president and will have elections and things will go back to normal," Kenneth Bustillo told the BBC.

The removal of Mr Zelaya has drawn criticism across Latin America and the wide world.

The Organization of American States held an emergency meeting, while UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for "the reinstatement of the democratically elected representatives of the country".

US President Barack Obama urged Honduras to "respect the rule of law" and a State Department official said America recognised Mr Zelaya as the duly elected president. The European Union called for "a swift return to constitutional normality".

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, meanwhile, blamed "the Yankee empire", and threatened military action should the Venezuelan ambassador to Honduras be attacked.



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SEE ALSO
In pictures: Honduran president ousted
28 Jun 09 |  In Pictures
World reaction: Honduran crisis
28 Jun 09 |  Americas
Profile: Honduras' Manuel Zelaya
21 Sep 09 |  Americas
Honduran armed forces boss sacked
25 Jun 09 |  Americas
Honduras country profile
20 Aug 12 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Honduras
16 Aug 12 |  Country profiles

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