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Zelaya rejects proposal to let supreme court decide on his reinstatement

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2009-10-17

The ousted president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya (right), categorically rejected a proposition late on Friday by de facto leader Roberto Micheletti (at left) to let the supreme court decide on Zelaya's return to power.

The ousted president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, categorically rejected a proposition late on Friday by de facto leader Roberto Micheletti on a key point of contention, Zelaya's return to power.

Zelaya rejected Micheletti's proposal that the supreme court would decide on Zelaya's eventual return as "totally unacceptable", according to one of his negotiators in the capital, Tegucigalpa. Zelaya insists that it is the unicameral congress that should decide who will lead the country until fresh elections are held in January.

"It's an absurd proposal," Zelaya representative Victor Meza said of leaving the decision to the supreme court.

The leftist Zelaya camp later indicated that it was willing to give the Micheletti government until Monday to reconsider.

The latest salvoes come after previous deadlines on concluding an agreement were extended twice without resolution during three days of intense discussions that ended on Friday. The crisis has isolated the country amid international condemnation of the coup and the suspension of much of the foreign aid on which the impoverished country relied.

"The climate is extremely delicate and dangerous," Zelaya told AFP late on Thursday. Zelaya has sought refuge at the Brazilian embassy since his return to the country last month for the first time since his June 28 ouster.

Nevertheless, some common ground has been established. Negotiators from both sides say they agree on most parts of a possible deal based on a proposal by Costa Rica's President Oscar Arias.

Key points of agreement include the creation of a unity government and the stipulation that Zelaya drop his plans to rewrite the constitution, which sparked the leadership crisis in June. The two sides have also agreed that November 29 polls be held on schedule.

After months of protests by both sides and crackdowns by security forces, representatives for Zelaya and Micheletti finally began talks last week to try to negotiate a settlement.

Date created : 2009-10-17

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