Central American bright spot

The final result won't be known until 30 days after recent elections in Honduras. Some challenges will probably have to be looked into. But at this writing all signs support the response of US Ambassador Mari- Luci Jamarillo: "In region in the throes of revolution, it was heartening to watch Honduras give an example of civics and responsibility." The turnout was high as the Central American nation elected a Constituent Assembly in its first move away from almost a decade of military rule.

Gen. Policarpo Paz Garcia, leader of the military junta, had helped to prepare the way for peaceful elections by calling beforehand for the direct election of a president after the assembly prepares a constitution. The impression of unrigged balloting was enhanced by the apparent victory of the Liberal Party over the National Party favored by General Paz. Politically, both parties are centrist conservative, though the Liberals did try to launch some agrarian reforms when they were in power years ago.

If the turmoil elsewhere in Central America is any guide, the maintenance of stability in Honduras will require that the thrust toward democracy be accompanied by alleviation of poverty. The newly enfranchised citizens and their chosen representatives should have the free world's support in their continuing endeavor.

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