Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Honduras decree

According to the NYT, after receiving criticism from all sides, including the Honduran Congress, Roberto Micheletti says he will ask the Supreme Court to lift the decree. The pro-coup paper El Heraldo says the same. The legislative leadership has apparently said it would not approve the decree.

So the executive issues a decree, but needs the Supreme Court to lift it?

Article 187 of the constitution says that if "the causes that motivated the decree" have disappeared, it is no longer in effect. It does not say who makes that determination. But it is reasonable to assert that if the executive made the initial determination, he or she would then be able to argue whether the original cause was no longer in evidence.

But the same article says that Congress will be convoked and can "ratify, modify, or reject" the decree. In other words, Congress could vote right now without any other branch of government being involved. They would need a majority to be convoked (Article 190).

Therefore, unless there is something I am missing, the decree could be revoked at any time, and the judiciary does not need to be involved. The current situation is just stalling.

Days since the coup: 93
Days until the scheduled presidential election: 61


RAJ 11:56 AM  

He does not need the Supreme Court to lift it, so you are entirely right. Micheletti is trying to engage other branches of government in this process unnecessarily, on the one hand, thus delaying rescinding, and on the other, implicating them in what was clearly a strategic error.

Anonymous,  8:47 AM  

It wasn't a "coup" but rather a legal, constitutional action taken by the Honduran government to remove Zelaya from office.

David Sketchley 6:24 AM  

Could you be missing the point?

Could it be that Micheletti has to get 'permission' from not only the Supreme Court but also the Armed Forces, and that Micheletti isn't the only one 'calling the shots'?

In reply to the request by the Honduran Supreme Electoral Tribunal [Tribunal Supremo Electoral (TSE) de Honduras] to revoke the decree, Micheletti specifically said that he would continue the "consultas" with the Supreme Court and 'other state organisms' (otros órganos del Estado) to arrive at a 'consensus'.

The other 'state organisms' could indeed mean the Armed Forces.

This is at least what other commentators are saying.

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