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Page last updated at 02:55 GMT, Wednesday, 26 August 2009 03:55 UK

Honduras defiant over elections

Roberto Micheletti
Roberto Micheletti has rejected a plan to reinstate the president

The Honduran interim government says it will go ahead with presidential elections in November, even if results are not recognised by other countries.

It also told a visiting group of regional foreign ministers it was not concerned at international sanctions following the ousting of the president.

Left-wing President Manuel Zelaya was forced from the country on 28 June.

The visiting ministers failed to persuade the government to accept a mediated plan to return him to power.

He was ousted in a power struggle over his proposals for a public consultation on constitutional change.

His critics said the move was aimed at removing the current one-term limit on serving as president and paving the way for his re-election.

No fear

The visiting Organisation of American States delegation - consisting of foreign ministers from Argentina, Canada, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama and the Dominican Republic - had tried to persuade the interim government to allow him to return to power to serve the remainder of his term.

Nobody is coming here to impose anything on us, unless troops come from somewhere else and force us
Roberto Micheletti
Interim President

But the interim government, which accuses him of treason, says this is impossible.

Interim President Roberto Micheletti said only armed intervention would change his government's course.

"We are not afraid of an embargo by anybody.

"The country can carry on firmly and calmly without your support and that of other nations," he said after a meeting with the delegation.

"Nobody is coming here to impose anything on us, unless troops come from somewhere else and force us."

Presidential elections are due to be held on 29 November.

The OAS delegation had wanted to persuade Mr Micheletti to accept a plan devised by Costan Rican President Oscar Arias.

Under the proposed accord, Mr Zelaya would be reinstated as president, while Mr Micheletti would return to his pre-coup post as the speaker of Honduras's parliament, and early elections would be called.

However, the delegation left without success.

"While the committee considers that advances were made during its visit, it must be noted that there is still no willingness to accept the San Jose Accord on the part of the gentleman (Mr Micheletti)," the delegation said in a statement, AFP reported.

"The committee reiterates the need for the rapid return to democratic normalcy... given the imminent start of the anticipated electoral campaign," the statement continued.

The US announced that visas would stop being issued from its embassy in Honduras because the interim government has refused to accept the proposal.



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