Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Re-Election in Honduras

The L.A. Times does a nice job of summarizing the turn of events in Honduras. José Manuel Zelaya was overthrown by a coup in 2009. The right, backed by allies in the United States, insisted that Zelaya could not even suggest the possibility of re-election, which was prohibited by the constitution, and that he wanted to copy Hugo Chávez.

Fast forward to 2015, and the right is copying Hugo Chávez. The coup, which already had such flimsy foundations, can now be definitely labeled as a fraud. It led to a massive increase in violence to boot. It also revealed a lack of horizontal accountability. The three branches of government attacked each other, and now the same is happening as Congress criticizes the Supreme Court.

Back in 2009, the right (through the Cato Institute) argued the following:

Also, the Honduran constitution stipulates that the only mechanism through which it can be amended is by two separate votes in Congress by absolute majority (two-thirds). However, Article 375 states that under no circumstance can the constitution be amended to allow for presidential re-election.

Now a conservative president avoided Congress and did exactly what conservatives then said was justification for a coup. Let's see if Zelaya runs for president again in 2017 and we can come full circle...


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