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Leftist bishop may seek Honduran presidency

October 11, 2011

A Honduran bishop has indicated that he hopes to be a candidate for the country's presidency, after retiring from his pastoral duties.

Bishop Luis Santos Villeda of Santa Rosa, who will reach the canonical retirement age of 75 in November, says that he will seek permission from Pope Benedict XVI to leave episcopal office quickly and enter the presidential race. "I would no longer be bishop or have any church office," he reasons.

The bishop would seek presidential office as a candidate of the Liberal Party. The country's last Liberal leader, Manuel Zelaya, was removed from office on the basis of a court order, after the attorney general found that Zelaya--a leftist ally of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez--had violated the country's constitution and exceeded his legal authority.

Bishop Santos has been outspoken in his protests against the constitutional process by which Zelaya was ousted. Most of the other bishops of Honduras, including Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, approved of Zelaya's removal.


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