Page last updated at 22:42 GMT, Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Ruling on Zelaya 'after election'

Manuel Zelaya 14.11.09
Mr Zelaya's term of office is due to end in January

Congress in Honduras will not vote on whether to restore ousted President Manuel Zelaya until after elections this month, a senior lawmaker said.

Congressional president Jose Alvedro Saavedra said Congress would meet in early December to decide if Mr Zelaya will be allowed to serve out his term.

Some regional states say they will not recognise the presidential poll unless Mr Zelaya is restored beforehand.

He was ousted in June, but returned to Honduras in secret in September.

Since then he has taken refuge in the Brazilian embassy in the capital, Tegucigalpa.

The US helped to broker a power-sharing deal between Mr Zelaya and interim President Roberto Micheletti, but the accord collapsed earlier this month.

Mr Zelaya warned last weekend that he would not return to the presidency if Congress voted to restore him after the elections. He said doing so would legitimise his removal from office in June.

His term of office is due to end in January.

As the feuding continued, senior US diplomat Craig Kelly arrived in Honduras on Tuesday to meet the two sides, a spokeswoman for the US embassy in Tegucigalpa confirmed.

It is Mr Kelly's second trip in less than a week to try to revive the deal.

Mr Zelaya was ousted after planning to hold a non-binding public consultation to ask people whether they supported moves to change the constitution.

His critics said the move was unconstitutional and aimed to remove the current one-term limit on serving as president and pave the way for his possible re-election.

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