The presidents of Panama, Taiwan, Guatemala, and Dominican Republic arrived in Tegucigalpa Wednesday morning, joining U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Arturo Valenzuela and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Craig Kelly for the swearing-in ceremony of Porfirio Lobo Sosa. The ceremony began at 6:30 a.m. in the National Congress and was scheduled to end at 1:00 p.m.
Dominican President Leonel Fernández left Santo Domingo in his official jet Wednesday morning, planning to return the same day with former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, who was ousted from power by the Honduran military on June 28, 2009. On Tuesday, Fernández and Lobo signed an agreement granting Zelaya’s safe passage out of Honduras.
Dignitaries from Colombia, Canada, Israel, Italy, Peru, Morocco, Belize, and Turkey also planned to attend the ceremony, though several Latin American countries, including Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela, have not recognized Lobo’s electoral victory on November 29, 2009.
It was not known prior to the ceremony whether interim President Roberto Micheletti would hand over the presidency to Lobo. Micheletti was hospitalized due to high blood pressure on Monday, the day a new congress was also sworn in.