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President-elect of Honduras, Xiomara Castro accuses party of ‘betrayal’ in Congress

FILE PHOTO: Honduras' president-elect Xiomara Castro speaks during a ceremony to receive her presidential credentials at the Plaza Juan Carlos hotel, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras December 30, 2021. REUTERS/Fredy Rodriguez/File Photo

Xiomara Castro, the president-elect of Honduras, accused some of her party’s members of “betrayal” on Friday after they broke a deal with a key partner, potentially jeopardising Castro’s ability to carry a broad agenda through Congress.

The news: Castro’s leftist Liberty and Refoundation Party (Libre) and two other parties nominated a member of their group as president of Congress, violating a deal to appoint a congressman from the Partido Salvador de Honduras (PSH), a key partner in Castro’s triumph.

  • According to the MPs, Castro’s appointment was made to protect his upcoming government. However, she has vowed to prevent the new Speaker of the House of Representatives from being sworn in on Jan. 27, the day she enters office.

What Castro said: “The betrayal was done!” Castro wrote on Twitter. “I don’t need traitors to protect me.”

  • She said that the 18 members who voted against appointing a PSH member to the top post in Congress had been removed from her party.
  • Castro also called on members of the Libre to gather in Tegucigalpa, the country’s capital, for a vigil from Saturday night to early Sunday in what she said as an act to ” repudiate the attempted kidnapping of the legislative power.”

What happened: To appoint the chamber’s directors or have the capacity to alter or repeal laws, parliamentarians in Honduras must have a majority plus one. In the single-house Congress, Libre and its allies won 60 of the 128 seats.

  • After Salvador Nasralla stepped down from the campaign and vowed support to Castro, the wife of former President Manuel Zelaya, who was deposed in a coup in 2009, Castro promised ally PSH command of Congress.
  • Nasralla called Friday’s action “another coup like in 2009” against Hondurans who voted for Castro in the hopes of PSH being the next president of Congress.

Analysts believe that breaking the contract with PSH will have a negative influence on Castro’s capacity to win in Congress.

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