Press Release


EPP Group will send observers to presidential elections in Honduras. Jaime Mayor Oreja MEP


MAYOR OREJA, JaimeThe EPP Group presidency has decided to send a delegation of observers to the presidential elections in Honduras, to be held on November 29th. This electoral process "is the key element to saving democracy in the country", said Jaime Mayor Oreja, EPP Group Vice-Chairman.

In his view, the Presidential elections will be "the key to opening a new era in Honduras. We need to contribute to this new period that should be created by the people of Honduras with their ballots".

EPP Vice-Chairman Jaime Mayor Oreja criticized the Spanish Government's decision not to send any observers to the elections. "This decision is absolutely incomprehensible, except if their political position is the one backed by President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela. Backing the ousted president Manuel Zelaya, as the Spanish Government is doing, is a strategy recommended only by Hugo Chávez right now. This is the main reason why the EPP thinks that now, more than ever, we should support free presidential elections and do all we can to ensure that their results, whatever they will be, are legitimate," he added.

"Any opposition to the elections is a sign of disdain towards the Constitution and the people of Honduras - and a mistake for the future produced only by the nearsightedness of Rodríguez Zapatero's Government," Mayor Oreja concluded.

This will be the second time that the EPP Group sends a delegation to Honduras since the removal of President Manuel Zelaya last June. The first delegation, composed of José Ignacio Salafranca MEP, Carlos Iturgaiz MEP and Alojz Peterle MEP, visited the country in October. They met all counterparts in the political conflict, on the advice of Costa Rica's President and international mediator, Oscar Arias.

The EPP Delegation to the elections will be chaired this time by Carlos Iturgaiz. The decision to send the delegation followed encouragement to do so by International mediator Oscar Arias during a meeting with the European Parliament delegation for Centralo-American countries in Panama last October.

Presidential elections in Honduras were called more than sixteen months ago, when ousted President Zelaya was still in power. They have been ratified by the members of the Electoral Court - designated under Zelaya's mandate - and have the support of most of the candidates for the Presidency.

For further information:
Jaime Mayor Oreja MEP, Tel: +33-3-88175601
Pedro López de Pablo, EPP Group Press Service, Tel: +33-3-88-17-48-71 / +32-475-493352

Notes to Editors:
The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 265 Members.

Foreign Affairs