New Honduras leader orders 48-hour curfew
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras—The newly-appointed leader of Honduras Roberto Micheletti ordered a 48-hour curfew starting late Sunday, after denying there had been a coup d'etat on deposed President Manuel Zelaya.
"A curfew begins today and ends on Tuesday," Micheletti said at his first press conference since being appointed by Congress to replace Zelaya.
"I came to the presidency not by a coup d'etat but by a completely legal process as set out in our laws," Micheletti, a member of Zelaya's own Liberal Party, said earlier after being sworn in by Congress.
"What we have done here is an act of democracy, because our army has complied with the order of the court, prosecutors, and judges," he added to loud applause from lawmakers.
"Our national army... complied with the constitution."
Honduran troops ousted Zelaya Sunday and flew him out of the country to Costa Rica, ending a bitter power struggle with the military as parliament swiftly voted in a new leader.
The Supreme Court said Sunday that it had ordered the president's ouster in order to protect law and order in the nation of some seven million people.
As Congress approved speaker Micheletti as the new interim president, it said it had voted unanimously to remove Zelaya from office for his "apparent misconduct" and for "repeated violations of the constitution and the law and disregard of orders and judgments of the institutions."
Micheletti promised to govern with "transparency and honesty" and "work tirelessly to restore peace and tranquility that we have lost."
He will stay in office until January 27, 2010, when the new president elected in November elections is due to take over.
Zelaya, who was elected in November 2005 to a non-renewable four-year term, had sought to revise the constitution through a referendum to allow him to run again in the next elections.
The Supreme Court had ruled such a referendum illegal, but Zelaya had tried to press ahead with a vote on Sunday anyway.