Path cleared for Honduras president to seek re-election

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TEGUCIGALPA: Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez has been cleared a path to run for re-election next year — despite similar constitutional tinkering ending in the forced ouster of a predecessor in 2009. The full Supreme Court of 15 judges on Wednesday ruled invalid a prohibition in the constitution of the Central American country barring presidents from serving more than one term. Lawmakers swiftly followed up by voting 70 to 55 in favor of eschewing a referendum on the change, which could allow Hernandez to run for a new mandate in elections to be held on November 26, 2017. Such a plebiscite, urged by the opposition, had been approved last year by judges. Hernandez, 47, has not yet publicly said whether he would run, previously telling reporters that it was up to voters to decide. He took office in 2014 for a four-year term, after being elected to succeed Porfirio Lobo Sosa. Lobo Sosa was voted into the presidency in 2009, months after his predecessor, Manuel Zelaya, was toppled by the military acting and hustled out of the country. Zelaya had been seeking constitutional reforms that many suspected were aimed at lifting the ban on presidential re-election.

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