International organizations and governments are backing dialogue between former presidential candidate Salvador Nasralla and president-elect of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernandez.
The German Embassy in Honduras said it supports talks between the two parties and denounces any violence. In a release issued on Jan. 2, the Embassy stated “all responsible should be dedicated to finding a peaceful solution for the good of the entire country and to strengthen the people’s confidence of a stable democracy” in Honduras.
The Coordinator of Spanish Non-Government Organizations in Honduras, or Congdeh, is also urging the Spanish government along with other European Union member states to help the Hondurans “find a legitimate (and) constitutional solution” to the current political crisis in the country.
Nasralla, who leads the Alliance of Opposition against the Dictatorship, does not recognize the results of the Nov. 26 presidential election, which was riddled with accusations of fraud and corruption. Nasralla has stated that he won the polls, but would be willing to repeat them, as was proposed by the Secretary-General of the Organization of American States, OAS, Luis Almagro.
This week Nasralla said he would engage in talks with the president re-elect and his “representatives” but only if there are “impartial… mediators” present, who are aware of the country’s political situation. He has suggested Honduran lawyer, Edmundo Orellana or Juliette Handal, former Honduran Minister of Industry and Commerce, of the Libre party.
For his part, Hernandez has said he will seek international political figures to help with the dialogue. Former Uruguayan president Jose Mujica is rumored to be a possible observer candidate, according to the Honduran newspaper, La Prensa.
The Opposition has, however, refused to have talks mediated by “groups friendly to” the current administration. The group stated that the Opposition Alliance director and former president Manuel Zelaya would not be considered as a mediator because his interests are with Nasralla.
Seemingly contradictory, in a radio interview this week Nasralla also said that he is only willing to engage in dialogue with Hernandez if it is about the president elect’s departure. Hernandez has to "negotiate with the opposition the conditions of his departure,” Nasralla said.
Hernandez is planning dialogue not just with his former presidential opponent, but with the Honduran people and international entities as well.
The president-elect, who will be sworn in on Jan. 27, announced a “grand national dialogue” facilitated by national and international persons to come to a “consensus and resolve the conflicts triggered by the general elections.”
“There will be large, themed roundtables...that will help us move forward with dialogue; we know there are experts, international facilitators that help in critical situations (such as this) around the world,” said Ebal Diaz, Secretary of the Council Ministry.
Government officials say that the administration has already started talks with national unions concerned about the current political crisis they say is slowing the economy. Civil society protests since Nov. 28 have turned violent in Honduras. More than 30 civilians, mainly Nasralla supporters claiming electoral fraud, have been killed by the military and national police.
Diaz tells the press that they are receiving dialogue suggestions from a “diverse” group of organizations, such as indigenous and groups of African descent.
“We want this dialogue to be frank, open, sincere, tolerant and credible,” said Diaz. He said it should include all societal sectors and that dialogue should encompass “social, productive, and political aspects.”
In the midst of talks of dialogues, Nasralla announced that he’s calling for peaceful protests this Saturday in San Pedro Sula, and Zelaya has also called for major demonstrations from Jan. 20-27, in the lead up to Hernandez’s swearing-in ceremony.