September 14, 2009
Honduras: bosses offer to pay people to vote, 21st Century Socialism, 14 Sep., 2009
Honduras's increasingly isolated coup regime has announced a plan to break the boycott of November's presidential elections by offering cash discounts to voters.
Adolfo Facussé, the head of the Honduran big business federation and a key figure in the regime, said this week that anyone who could prove they had voted would be offered the inducement.
"Those with a painted finger will have an automatic discount on any purchases made anywhere in the country," the wealthy businessman promised.
The level of discount to be offered would be decided after further meetings with politicians, Mr Facussé explained, adding: "The important thing is to strengthen democracy and defeat abstention."
Elected president Manuel Zelaya was kidnapped by armed soldiers on June 28 and expelled from the country.
According to human rights group Amnesty International, "beatings and mass arrests are being used as a way of punishing people for voicing their opposition to the military-backed coup d'etat."
At least 12 opponents of the regime have been assassinated.
The National Resistance Front of Honduras has called for a boycott of the November poll and the international community has said it will not recognise the results of elections conducted under conditions of military oppression.
This article was also published in the Morning Star.
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