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Zelaya: US-brokered Honduras deal 'dead'

An accord that would allow the Honduran Congress to vote to allow Manuel Zelaya back into the presidency is 'dead,' the ousted president said. US Sen. Jim DeMint has said the US will recognize Nov. 29 presidential elections regardless of whether Zelaya is returned to office, which many nations around the world have demanded.

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"The de facto regime has failed to live up to the promise that, by this date, the national government would be installed. And, by law, it should be presided by the president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya," says Jorge Reina, a negotiator for Zelaya.

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Secretary: Deal ensures US support of elections

It is unclear how the US will react amid claims by Zelaya that the deal is dead. US Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Thomas Shannon said on CNN Espanol that the deal itself ensures US support of elections.

And on Thursday, Arturo Valenzuela was confirmed as the assistant secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs. The confirmation was stalled amid partisan fighting in Washington over Zelaya's restoration.

Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, who had blocked the confirmation since July over what he said was the Obama administration's support to restore Zelaya to power, said that he backed down because Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told him that the US will recognize the presidential vote regardless of whether Zelaya comes back to office.

But that is not an acceptable position to many Hondurans – and to many nations around the world, which have long declared that they will accept the elections as legitimate only if Zelaya is restored to the office to which he was democratically elected. His foes say they deposed him because they believed he was trying to change the Constitution to scrap presidential term limits. Zelaya denies this.

Zelaya's supporters congregated outside Congress Thursday to demand his return, and street protests could get more intense leading up to elections, which many have promised to boycott.

"We completely do not recognize this electoral process," Mr. Reina says. "Elections under a dictatorship are a fraud for the people."

–Material from wire reports was used in this article.


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