Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Micheletti's message

One of the themes of the coup government is that it supports the Arias talks, but Mel Zelaya cannot return as president. Roberto Micheletti reiterated that in a press interview. This is a very good sleight of hand because it simultaneously supports and rejects the talks. Zelaya's return is the core of Arias' proposal, so Micheletti can appear publicly reasonable while ensuring that the negotiations never go anywhere.

Otherwise the interview is a lot of bluster. Strangely enough, Micheletti joins Hugo Chávez in claiming that a U.S. action may lead to war (invasion from Nicaragua? Who knows) though at least Micheletti does not suggest buying Russian tanks in response.

Days since the coup: 51
Days until the scheduled presidential election: 103


Nell 1:41 PM  

Micheletti's position isn't remotely reasonable, at least not to anyone who takes the constitution seriously: Either he stays in office, or Zelaya is restored.

There's no way for a president to resign in favor of someone who isn't in the line of succession (and no one sees putting Saavedra in as a solution to anything). So Micheletti's position amounts to him staying in office until the next president is inaugurated.

If the U.S. government were unwilling to see that happen, they'd be putting some pressure on to prevent it. Hence they appear prepared to countenance blessing illegitimate elections.

Wrt your countdown: The official date for the start of campaigning is August 31. Ballot printing begins on September 5. So Brazil, Chile, and others have a very short window in which to put our government on the spot on the elections question.

Micheletti's position would seem to give every reason to push the issue immediately. Given the constitutional impossibility of some hypothetical third figure acceptable to pro- and anti-coup forces, elections will absolutely be illegitimate unless Zelaya returns to office in the next few weeks.

[That there is no remotely legal way to move the elections forward always made that a noxious provision of the "accord", as well. It's also pointless at this stage; if Zelaya were restored, the campaign period needs all the normalcy it could muster to retain legitimacy.]

Greg Weeks 5:13 PM  

If Latin American governments do anything concrete in the near future, I would be amazed. Pleasantly so, but amazed nonetheless.

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