Zelaya, a leftist elected in 2005, had found himself recently pitted against other branches of government and military leaders over a referendum planned for Sunday that could have allowed the president to run for another term.
Honduras' Supreme Court ruled the referendum illegal, and the military and Congress agreed.
Despite the military and Congress' position, Zelaya pressed forward, vowing last week that he would push for the referendum. His four-year term ends in January 2010, and under current law he cannot run for re-election.
He called the coup an attack on Honduran democracy. "There are ways to protest without arms," Zelaya said. CNN