Honduran lawmaker debate ousted leader’s future

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Honduran lawmakers begin debating ousted President Manuel Zelaya’s future yesterday under pressure from much of the region to reinstate him or face more isolation despite a presidential election they hoped would end the crisis.

It’s not clear the pressure will be enough. The interim administration has already resisted months of diplomatic arm-twisting, and has long predicted Sunday’s election would weaken demands for Zelaya’s return.

Still, many Latin American governments warn they will not restore ties with the incoming administration of Porfirio Lobo unless Zelaya is allowed to finish his own term, which ends Jan. 27.

Congressional President Jose Alfredo Saavedra insisted he felt no pressure from abroad, saying he had met with diplomats of many countries and none had suggested he vote one way the other.’