Honduras: Pepe Lobo Wins
Porfirio Lobo Sosa, best known as Pepe Lobo, won yesterday's general election with a clear majority of 56 percent and over 60 percent of registered voters participating in the election.
Noticias 24 has a profile of Lobo (in Spanish): The 61-yr old father of eleven children (currently married to Rosa Elena Bonilla, mother of three of his children) and black belt in Karate is a seasoned politician who, as leader of the National Party, ran on an anti-crime platform in 2005 but was defeated apparently for his support of the death penalty. He served as president of the National Congress from 2002-2006.
Lobo owns large landholdings in Olancho, birthplace of deposed president Mel Zelaya, where he grows grains. He attended the University of Miami in Florida, where he studied business administration, and his political rivals say that he also studied in the Soviet Union--a charge Lobo has never denied but does not show on his CV.
Lobo is regarded by his supporters as conciliatory and open to dialogue. His campaign focused on reducing crime by strengthening institutions such as the National Police and the Public Ministry, promoting job creation and decreasing poverty by 10 percent.
Lobo appealed for unity during his acceptance speech,
"I am announcing a government of national unity, of reconciliation. There's no more time for divisions,"while also asserting that he "will not allow [Hugo Chávez] or anyone to stick their noses in Honduras:
"Honduras is a free, independent and sovereign country... We will not allow anyone's interference nor political compromises that may create division."Regarding deposed president Mel Zelaya, Lobo made clear that it's up to the National Congress to decide next Wednesday whether Zelaya is to be reinstated. Lobo is scheduled to be sworn in as president on January 27, 2010. Zelaya has already stated he will not accept being reinstated since that would lend legitimacy to the election.
Peru, Costa Rica, Panama, the German parliament and Japan will recognize yesterday's vote. The European Union is also expected to follow suit.