TEGUCIGALPA – The LIBRE party, led by ousted Honduran President Mel Zelaya, is holding elections Sunday to select its top officials.
The party was founded after the 64-year-old Zelaya was removed from office in a coup on June 28, 2009.
Zelaya, who took office on Jan. 27, 2006, as the candidate of the Liberal Party, called on LIBRE members to participate in the internal elections, estimating that about 150,000 people would vote.
Rasel Tome, one of the candidates vying for the party’s presidential nomination, said only about 30,000 people would turn out on Sunday because this was not a primary election.
The LIBRE party plans to hold its primary elections next March, with members picking their presidential standard bearer and other candidates for the Nov. 26, 2017, general elections.
Party members are expected to elect Zelaya to be LIBRE’s general coordinator, with Patricia Rodas, who served as foreign minister under the former president, being elected deputy general coordinator.
Zelaya was ousted with only seven months left in his four-year term.
The party received nearly 900,000 votes in the 2013 general elections, which were won by the National Party.
LIBRE members will also be electing 18 provincial, 298 municipal and 596 party assembly coordinators on Sunday, as well as the national youth organization’s leaders.
LIBRE is the largest opposition party in Congress, where seven parties hold seats.