Zelaya's supporters take to the streetsa


Friday, February 26, 2010    

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TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AFP) -- Thousands of supporters of ousted Honduras president Manuel Zelaya took to the streets of the capital yesterday for the first time since President Porfirio Lobo took office last month.

Lobo, who was elected in controversial polls held under the de facto regime, took power on January 27 and granted Zelaya safe passage to the Dominican Republic.

Zelaya, a centrist who swung to the left while in office, had spent several months holed up in the Brazilian embassy after secretly returning to the Central American nation.

Yesterday's protesters called for reform of the constitution and denounced corruption and rights abuses since Zelaya was ousted last June.

Some 10,000 people set off from the capital's main university but were blocked by soldiers from nearing the presidential palace and diverted to the parliament in the city centre instead, according to organisers.

Six teachers' unions backed the protests and called for classes to be suspended nationwide.

Lobo's foreign minister said Sunday that Honduras had restored diplomatic ties with 29 nations that broke off with Tegucigalpa after the coup, while 10 others had not renewed relations.




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