Colombian President Alvaro Uribe on Monday recognized Porfirio Lobo as the newly elected President of Honduras.
Uribe, currently in Portugal where he is attending an Ibero-American summit, considers Honduras’ new right-wing government legitimate, despite controversy over the legitimacy of the election.
“We hope they will make progress with efforts to overcome the difficulties in Honduras so there will be a consensus on national unity,” Uribe said.
Brazil and most other South American countries earlier announced they will not recognize the results of the election, which follows the coup that ousted President Manuel Zelaya. According to his critics, the leftist leader had been in the process of changing the constitution to allow himself a re-election bid. Zelaya is currently in the Brazilian embassy in Honduras avoiding an arrest warrant.
The Organization of American States, the Carter Center and the European Union did not send observers. The United Nations withheld election support.
The U.S. government said late Sunday that it considered the presidential elections in Honduras “a necessary and important step forward” toward resolving the country’s political crisis.
“Significant work remains to be done to restore democratic and constitutional order in Honduras, but today the Honduran people took a necessary and important step forward,” State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said in a written statement.
According to the U.S., the turnout was higher than with the previous election.