According to today’s Wall Street Journal, 61 percent of Hondurans turned out to vote in the country’s presidential election yesterday. By a wide margin Hondurans elected conservative rancher Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo to their presidency. The Journal reports: “The results gave Mr. Lobo 56% of the vote, well ahead of Liberal Party candidate Elvin Santos at 38%, confirming voters’ expected punishment of the Liberals — party of both the deposed president [Manuel Zelaya] and the interim government that ousted him.”
Honduras must have the most responsible ruling authorities in the Western world. Its Congress Supreme Court, Human Rights Ombudsman and Attorney General supported Zelaya’s ouster for violating the country’s constitution. The Honduran military acted as ordered by the country’s civilian authorities. Zelaya’s successor (Roberto Micheletti) conducted himself with grace and nobility in vindicating the legitimacy of the ruling authorities.
Subsequent review of the acts in issue by the Law Library of the United States Congress affirmed their legality, with the exception of the expatriation of Zelaya. Zelaya has nevertheless re-entered Honduras and remains holed up in Brazil’s Honduran embassy.
Turnout for the presidential election was up over four years ago despite the resistance mounted by Zelaya and his allies. The Journal reports that Enrique Zelaya, a 54-year-old doctor who works for the United Nations, said he was among people in a group of 25 cars Sunday that was stopped at the border between El Salvador and Honduras by men who said they were trying to enforce Mr. Zelaya’s boycott of the election.
Honduras has withstood the disapproval of such paragons of democracy as Fidel Castro, Daniel Ortega and Hugo Chávez, not to mention Barack Obama. In the last minutes of the crisis, President Obama and Secretary Clinton backed off the ledge onto which they had walked with Castro et al. Good for them.
Honduras has also withstood the disapproval of the likes of Tom Loudon, co-director of the Quixote Center, “a faith-based nongovernmental organization focused on social-justice issues.” Loudon was among a group of protesters in San Pedro Sula who were dispersed with tear gas and water cannons yesterday. The Quixote Center celebrated the election of Daniel Ortega to the presidency of Nicaragua with 38 percent of the vote in January 2007, but the doings in Honduras yesterday were not to its liking. Chalk it up as another indication that they are doing it right in Honduras.
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“Arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” Winston Churchill