Military troops arrested President Manuel Zelaya before a proposed referendum on presidential term limits. President Zelaya wanted to seek a second term next year. By law, the Honduran leader, elected in 2005, is limited to one term in office.
Honduran lawmakers appointed a provisional president Sunday following the arrest and deportation of Zelaya. Roberto Micheletti, the head of the Honduran Congress, was installed as the country's new leader hours after soldiers detained Zelaya, placed him on a plane and flew him to Costa Rica.
The apparent coup prompted criticism by Human Rights Watch, which called Zelaya's ousting a "breach of democracy in Honduras" and called for the Organization of American States to act quickly to push for the re-establishment of democracy in Honduras.
"The OAS has a key role to play now. It must rapidly find a multilateral solution to this breach of democracy in Honduras," said Jose Miguel Vivanco, Americas director for the international rights group. "To allow this coup to stand would be a huge step back from the progress that the region has made toward democracy in recent decades."America is not recognizing the new leadership.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a statement saying the action taken against Zelaya "violates the precepts of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and thus should be condemned by all."Iran elections ... Honduras coup ... the world is a very difficult and dangerous place. What are your thoughts about this international development?
"We call on all parties in Honduras to respect the constitutional order and the rule of law, to reaffirm their democratic vocation, and to commit themselves to resolve political disputes peacefully and through dialogue," Clinton said. "Honduras must embrace the very principles of democracy we reaffirmed at the OAS meeting it hosted less than one month ago."