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Honduras’ Micheletti to step down temporarily for public ‘reflection’

November 20, 2009

Honduras´ interim President Roberto Micheletti will step down for a week to allow time for public “reflection” during the presidential electoral process, Micheletti said Thursday.

The surprise announcement came late Thursday, as the country gears up for the Nov. 29 elections. Micheletti said he will resign from Nov. 25 through Dec. 2.

“My purpose with this measure is for the attention of all Hondurans to be focused on the electoral process and not on the political crisis,” Micheletti said during a speech he gave early Thursday evening.

The crisis remains, however, after talks broke down last month between Micheletti and ousted President Manuel Zelaya, who has said he refuses to recognize the winner of the upcoming vote and accuses the United States of backing Micheletti´s “coup” government.

The U.S. government says it will support the elections as the way out of the crisis, which is the region´s worst political debacle in years. However, the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama is beginning to find itself isolated on that position. Guatemala became the latest Latin American country this week to announce it has withdrawn plans to send observers to the elections in protest of Honduras´ reluctance to allow Zelaya´s reinstatement as president. Other countries could follow.

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