Honduras political dispute resolved, paving way for president's anti-corruption agenda

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New Honduran President Xiomara Castro waves to invitees after being sworn-in, during a ceremony in Tegucigalpa, Honduras January 27, 2022. REUTERS/Fredy Rodriguez/File Photo

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MEXICO CITY, Feb 7 (Reuters) - A dispute over who would lead Honduras' newly elected Congress has been resolved, lawmakers said on Monday, paving the way for new President Xiomara Castro to pass anti-corruption reforms she promised on the campaign trail.

Dissident lawmakers in Castro's party aligned with opposition National Party legislators to elect a Congress president opposed by Castro last month, triggering political paralysis ahead of her inauguration.

Calling the move that endangered her legislative agenda a "betrayal," Castro had expelled the dissident lawmakers from her party, leaving her without a majority in Congress.

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The expulsion has now been reversed and the dispute has been settled as the legislators have come to an agreement, according to lawmaker Jorge Calix, who served as the dissident faction's Congress president.

"We are going to keep our word in the campaign to support President Xiomara Castro's legislative agenda of anti-transparency and anti-corruption laws," Calix said in a news conference.

Calix and 16 other lawmakers from Castro's leftist Libre Party said they had signed an agreement on Monday accepting that the Congress will be led by a Castro-backed lawmaker, Luis Redondo, and agreed to work together in chamber.

The agreement means that the Libre and its allies in Congress have 68 votes in the 128-seat chamber, lawmakers say.

The simple majority will allow Castro to push through her proposal to repeal several laws that grant impunity to officials and legislators passed during the conservative government of ex-President Juan Orlando Hernandez, said political analyst Raul Alvarado.

But Castro will still have to negotiate with Hernandez's National Party to elect a new Supreme Court chief justice and a new attorney general, said Alvarado.

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Reporting by Gustavo Palencia Editing by Drazen Jorgic and Rosalba O'Brien

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