Former President Manuel Zelaya led a march in the Honduran capital to mark Friday's fourth anniversary of the coup that ousted him.

Thousands took part in the procession, many under the red-and-black banners of the National Popular Resistance Front, which formed almost immediately after the military forced Zelaya from office on June 28, 2009.

Missing from the scene was Zelaya's wife, Xiomara Castro, the Libre Party's candidate for president in the Nov. 24 election, who is abroad for treatment of a knee problem.

Soldiers dragged Zelaya from his home and put him on a plane to Costa Rica just hours before Hondurans were set to vote in a non-binding referendum on overhauling the constitution the armed forces imposed on the country in 1982.

Zelaya had angered Honduras' economic elite by raising the minimum wage and by ordering the state electric utility to crack down on wealthy residential customers who routinely neglected to pay their bills.

"Here is a people who are ready and organized, we will keep moving forward to victory" in the election, the former president said Friday.

Zelaya is running for a congressional seat in the November balloting, while his wife aims to succeed President Porfirio Lobo, who was elected in November 2009 in a process marked by low turnout and fierce repression of opponents of the coup. EFE