Zelaya Says Honduras Crisis Deal Has Failed

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Agence France Presse

Zelaya Says Honduras Crisis Deal Has Failed

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Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya gestures during a press conference at the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa. Zelaya said a deal aimed at ending the country's months-long crisis had failed after the interim leader announced a government without his participation. (AFP/Orlando Sierra)

TEGUCIGALPA - Ousted Honduras President Manuel Zelaya said Friday a deal aimed at ending the country's months-long crisis had failed after the interim leader announced a government without his participation.

"Practically speaking, we have decided not to continue with this theater of Mr Micheletti," Zelaya said, speaking on Radio Globo.

"The international community will have to see what measures" to take after the agreement faltered, he added. A Zelaya aide had earlier said the deal had "failed."

Zelaya also warned that "those who are adopting violence are committing a grave error," referring to a bombing on Wednesday at a radio station seen as sympathetic to interim leader Roberto Micheletti and another that killed one person.

Late Thursday, Micheletti announced a unity government without including Zelaya ministers in the new cabinet.

Zeyala had refused to present nominees for ministerial posts, as requested by Micheletti, unless he was first reinstated to "reverse the coup" that ousted him on June 28.

The cowboy-hatted deposed president had also accused the de facto leadership of seeking to run out the clock until polls for a new president at the end of the month.

Micheletti's announcement came just 10 minutes before the midnight (0600 GMT Friday) deadline to form a unity government set by the agreement. It left the door open for Zelaya ministers to later join the newly-formed cabinet.

The accord reached on October 30 to resolve the four-month crisis gripping the Central American nation also called on Congress to decide on Zelaya's restitution -- but gave no deadline for the vote, which has yet to take place.

Without naming the new cabinet members, Micheletti expressed his "deepest gratitude to the US government and members of the OAS for the support and monitoring they provided in accordance with which we took... important steps to strengthen our democracy."

Zelaya, who has been holed up in the Brazilian embassy since his surprise return on September 21, decided Thursday that he would not present any candidates for the unity government, said his advisor Rasel Tome.

"If there's no president, who will swear them (the new ministers) in?" Tome asked.

The crisis deal, struck with the help of US diplomats, had called for a return to the situation prior to the coup, when soldiers sent Zelaya into exile in his pajamas. The arrangement was to pave the way for elections.

"The agreement failed because of Micheletti... and because the National Congress did not convene" to return Zelaya to power, Zelaya aide Jose Arturio Reina said Friday.

Former Chilean president Ricardo Lagos, part of a four-member commission formed to oversee implementation of the deal, said that Micheletti had offered to give up the leadership once the unity government was established.

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