Zelaya Refuses to Recognize Honduran Vote

Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya insisted late Saturday that he will not accept any deal to restore him to office if it means he must recognize elections later this month.

In a letter addressed to President Barack Obama, Zelaya also repeated his accusation that Washington reversed its stance on whether the Nov. 29 vote should be considered legitimate if he was not in office.

"As the elected president of the Honduran people, I reaffirm my position that starting today, no matter what, I will not accept any agreement on returning to the presidency of the republic to cover up this coup d'etat," Zelaya said, reading from the letter on Globo radio.

Zelaya spoke from the Brazilian Embassy, where he has taken refuge since slipping back into the capital, Tegucigalpa, on Sept. 21. He was hustled out of the country at gunpoint by soldiers June 28, touching off a political crisis that has seen the U.S. and other nations cut off much of their aid to the poor Central American nation.

This past week, the United States sent Craig Kelly, deputy assistant secretary of state for the Western Hemisphere, to Honduras to try to move along a U.S.-brokered pact signed by both sides that calls for a unity government and for Congress to vote on whether to restore Zelaya to the presidency to serve out his term, which ends in January.

Zelaya declared the agreement a failure last week when Micheletti announced the creation of a national unity government even though Zelaya had not proposed any candidates.

Washington has said it supports Zelaya's reinstatement, but the pact set no deadline for his return to office. And after brokering the deal, U.S. diplomats indicated Washington would support the elections, which had been scheduled before the coup, as long the deal was implemented.

"The future that you show us today by changing your position in the case of Honduras, and thus favoring the abusive intervention of the military castes ... is nothing more than the downfall of freedom and contempt for human dignity," Zelaya said in the letter to Obama. "It is a new war against the processes of social and democratic reforms so necessary in Honduras."

Legislative leaders say they are waiting for an opinion from prosecutors and Honduras' Supreme Court, which ordered Zelaya's arrest for refusing to drop plans for a referendum on constitutional change that the court ruled illegal.

Key lawmakers have indicated there might not be a vote until after the Nov. 29 election.

Zelaya has urged the international community not to recognize the outcome of the election if he is not restored to power first.