The Honduran Supreme Court has recommended that lawmakers vote against restoring ousted President Manuel Zelaya, another blow for his quickly fading chances of returning to power.

The Supreme Court submitted its opinion six days before Congress is scheduled to vote on Mr. Zelaya’s fate as part of a US-brokered agreement to end the political crisis over a June coup.

The justices concluded that Mr. Zelaya should not be restored to the presidency because he has criminal charges pending against him, Supreme Court spokesman Danilo Izaguirre said.

“While he faces judicial charges, he cannot return to power,” Mr. Izaguirre said.

Mr. Zelaya, who has been holed up in the Brazilian Embassy since sneaking back into the country from his forced exile Sept 21, has declared the US-backed pact a failure, arguing Congress is violating the spirit of the agreement by waiting until after presidential elections Sunday to decide his future.

The agreement called for the formation of a unity government but left the decision on restoring Mr. Zelaya up to Congress, which was given the option of consulting the Supreme Court and other institutions.

The Supreme Court justices had initially deemed Zelaya’s ouster legal because he violated court orders to cancel a referendum on rewriting the constitution.

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