After months of repression by the golpistas in Honduras and resistance and demonstrations by pro-democracy forces, it appears that there’s finally been a deal to restore the rightful president Manual Zelaya to power for the last few months of his presidential term. If that happens, the crisis in Honduras is over.
The New York Times says there’s a deal in its headline. The details aren’t quite as firm:
A lingering political crisis in Honduras seemed to be nearing an end on Friday after the de facto government agreed to a deal, pending legislative approval, that would allow Manuel Zelaya, the deposed president, to return to office.
The government of Roberto Micheletti, which had refused to let Mr. Zelaya return, signed an agreement with Mr. Zelaya’s negotiators late Thursday that would pave the way for the Honduran Congress to restore the ousted president and allow him to serve out the remaining three months of his term. If Congress agrees, control of the army would shift to the electoral court, and the presidential election set for Nov. 29 would be recognized by both sides.
On Friday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called the deal “an historic agreement.”
“I cannot think of another example of a country in Latin America that, having suffered a rupture of its democratic and constitutional order, overcame such a crisis through negotiation and dialogue,” Mrs. Clinton said in Islamabad, where she has been meeting with Pakistani officials.
The deal, however, hasn’t been inked yet. There are details to be worked out between the golpistas and Zelaya, and of course, the Honduras Congress has to approve the pact:
Negotiators for both men were expected to meet Friday to work out final details. It was not clear what would happen if the Honduran Congress rejected the deal.
Passage could mean a bookend to months of international pressure and political turmoil in Honduras, where regular marches by Mr. Zelaya’s supporters and curfews have paralyzed the capital.
This is the most hopeful news since the June coup d’etat in Nicaragua. I’m cautiously optimistic that democracy will now be restored in Honduras.