2 Jul 2009

Honduras refuses to restore president

11:29 am on 2 July 2009

The interim government in Honduras has vowed there is "no chance at all" of ousted President Manuel Zelaya returning to office.

The Organization of American States gave Honduras an ultimatum on Wednesday to allow Mr Zelaya back into office by this weekend or face suspension from the group.

The president was toppled by the army on Sunday and sent into exile in a dispute over presidential term limits.

But interim foreign minister Enrique Ortez said Mr Zelaya would be arrested if he came home.

In an interview, he said "there is no chance at all" of Mr Zelaya coming back to power.

The BBC reports the crisis has spiraled into the worst political turmoil in Central America since the US invasion of Panama in 1989.

Mr Zelaya took office in 2006 for a term of four years. He had been due to leave power in 2010, and was forced out over the issue of an extension to presidential mandates.

Honduras is a major exporter of coffee, textiles and bananas. Coffee producers say exports have not been affected.