Honduras Swears in New President as Zelaya Flees

AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo

Honduras swore in its new president as former leader Manuel Zelaya flew into exile in the Dominican Republic on Wednesday, The New York Times reports. He’d been seeking refuge at the Brazilian Embassy since September after being ousted in the June 28 coup, living three months in exile and then slipping back into the country. Newly inaugurated President Porfirio Lobo and Dominican President Leonel Fernández accompanied Zelaya and his family to the airport before they headed off to Santo Domingo.

Although the country is finally taking steps to recover from the political turmoil that gripped the nation for the past seven months, it’s still torn between those who supported the coup and Zelaya’s defenders. Lobo’s administration comes into power with challenges of its own as many countries refuse to recognize Honduras’s new government. During his inauguration, Lobo signed an amnesty protecting those who organized the coup and forgiving Zelaya of abuse of power charges (accusations that he embezzled funds still stand though). Lobo also plans to set up a commission to study the coup and its effects as well as seek international approval.

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