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  • President Juan Orlando Hernandez was re-elected in the controversial November 2017 elections.

    President Juan Orlando Hernandez was re-elected in the controversial November 2017 elections. | Photo: EFE

Published 14 August 2018

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez signed a decree to begin a U.N.-mediated political dialogue with opposition forces.

The President of Honduras Juan Orlando Hernandez signed a decree Monday to recognize "the political dialogue, with the mediation of the United Nations, as space for different political sectors to meet and search for real solutions" to the political crisis unleashed after the November 2017 presidential elections. 

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The decree was a demand by the Liberal Party and by former presidential candidate for the Opposition Alliance Against Dictatorship Salvador Nasralla. 

Opposition sectors have been participating in a process of "pre-dialogue" with representatives of the national government, mediated by Igor Garafulic, U.N. representative in Tegucigalpa, Honduras' capital city.

On Tuesday the different sectors will agree on a date to resume dialogue between the parties and define the main issues to be discussed, which will likely include human rights violations, the participation of gangs in the November election, reforms to the country's electoral process, and constitutional reforms. 

Former President Manuel Zelaya, who was ousted in 2009 after calling for a popular referendum, reiterated Sunday he will not participate in dialogues with the government and said the only option for Honduras is a popular insurrection against the government, which he claims, does not recognize the will of the people. 

Since March, Zelaya has criticized U.N. mediation efforts arguing they are "divisive" and have "ignored the Nov. 26 electoral coup; the state of the nation; the assassinations at the hands of the repressive armed forces; and the taking of political prisoners."

Honduras' political crisis erupted after electoral authorities awarded Hernandez, who ran for a controversial re-election, the November presidential victory, despite the fact that early vote count gave Nasralla the advantage.

After the election results, Honduras witnessed large anti-government demonstrations, which were confronted by a brutal government crackdown that left more than 30 dead and hundreds of prisoners, according to human rights organizations.

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