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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Honduras' non-coup - Los Angeles Times

The Kid had avoided commentary on the Honduran situation because, U.S. media being as useless as it is, has not been able to tell him straight out whether the removal of the former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was done in accordance with the Honduran constitution. Well, after digging around and trying to translate the Honduran constitution through google translate, he is ready to make his pronouncement:

The removal of Zelaya was not a coup, military or other wise.

The article below actually has a really good summary:

Honduras' non-coup - Los Angeles Times

As noted, Article 239 states clearly that one who behaves as Zelaya did in attempting to change presidential succession ceases immediately to be president. If there were any doubt on that score, the Congress removed it by convening immediately after Zelaya's arrest, condemning his illegal conduct and overwhelmingly voting (122 to 6) to remove him from office. The Congress is led by Zelaya's own Liberal Party (although it is true that Zelaya and his party have grown apart as he has moved left). Because Zelaya's vice president had earlier quit to run in the November elections, the next person in the line of succession was Micheletti, the Liberal leader of Congress. He was named to complete the remaining months of Zelaya's term.

It cannot be right to call this a "coup." Micheletti was lawfully made president by the country's elected Congress. The president is a civilian. The Honduran Congress and courts continue to function as before. The armed forces are under civilian control. The elections scheduled for November are still scheduled for November. Indeed, after reviewing the Constitution and consulting with the Supreme Court, the Congress and the electoral tribunal, respected Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga recently stated that the only possible conclusion is that Zelaya had lawfully been ousted under Article 239 before he was arrested, and that democracy in Honduras continues fully to operate in accordance with law. All Honduran bishops joined Rodriguez in this pronouncement.
That Zelaya was attempting to subvert the Honduran constitution is not even in dispute. The only real question is whether or not the Honduran Supreme Court acted appropriately in issuing an arrest warrant for him. Or if the Honduran Congress had to remove him first.

First off, this was not a military coup. The military detained and exiled Zelaya, but did so under an order form the Supreme Court and under its consitutional charge in article 272. There was no attempt by the military to act indpendently, or to try an seize power. Power was transferred to the civilian next in line of constitutional succession. Therefore, this was not in any way a military coup.

So therefore was it a civilian coup d'etat?

No. It was not. The thing The Kid had to puzzle through was whether or not the right to remove the President lay with the Honduran Supreme Court, or exclusively the Honduran Congress. The answer lies in article 239 to the constitution which forbids the President from seeking to extend his one, 4 year term. The constitution is so strict on this point, that it forbids the President to even propose the idea. If the President even suggests the idea of extending his term he "ceases his duty immediately forthwith." In effect, Zelaya removed himself, when he attempted to push through a referendum on extending his term. Therefore, it was entirely appropriate for the Supreme Court to write an arrest order, due to the fact that he was likely guilty of treason (as defined in article 4 of the constitution) and acted illegally in attempting the referendum, ignoring the mandate of Congress and firing the Chief of Staff of the Army.

All of this is probably moot in any case, as the Honduran Congress officially removed him from power by a vote of 122 to 6 the day after his arrest anyway. thus making it in no way a coup...

2 Comments:

At Saturday, July 11, 2009 at 12:21:00 PM EDT, Anonymous votetheday said...

What is your opinion on the situation in Honduras? Give your vote either for or against Zelaya - http://www.votetheday.com/honduras/honduras-crisis-434/

 
At Monday, August 24, 2009 at 4:34:00 AM EDT, Blogger Carol said...

The Kid had avoided to give commentary on the Honduran situation oh how smart it is!!

Carol
Wireless Home Alarm Security Systems

 

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