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Zelaya returns to Honduras in OAS-brokered deal


Supporters of former Honduran president Manuel Zelaya, thrown out of the country at gunpoint in a 2009 coup, prepared to welcome him home Saturday. Zelaya is benefiting from an amnesty agreed with current leader Porfirio Lobo.


Zelaya’s 16-month exile in the Dominican Republic is ending thanks to the deal that will allow Honduras to rejoin the Organisation of American States (OAS) and gain access to international aid and lines of credit.

Sevenry per cent of the population of nearly eight million live on four dollars or less a day, according to government figures.

The deal, agreed at a central American summit in Nicaragua last Sunday, included a promise that all legal action against Zelaya would be dropped.

Zelaya is returning to lead the National Popular Resistance Front (FNRP), a movement formed after the June 2009 coup.

Its leaders hope it will become a political party and end the two-party monopoly that has dominated Honduran politics since the early 20th century.

Supporters from around the country will greet Zelaya at the airport when he lands, and then meet at a city plaza where the 58-year-old ex-leader will hold a rally.

Zelaya cannot run in the 2013 presidential elections because the constitution currently bans ex-leaders from running.

Supporters want his wife, Xiomara Castro, to run instead.

Zelaya was a conservative rancher when he was elected in January 2006, but took a political turn to the left once in office.

He was ousted in a military coup sanctioned by the Honduran legislature and the supreme court after he tried to change the law to allow himself to stand again for office.

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