Monday, June 29, 2009

A Curious Kind of Coup.

Coat of Arms of Hondouras

I don't know much about what happened in Honduras but anytime an elected President is removed by force it isn't a good day for Democracy. On the other hand many people from Honduras seem to support the move.

The more I learn the less I know. I have seen President Zelaya described several places as unpopular. How that was determined I have no idea. It's also curious that Interim President Roberto Micheletti was President of Hoduras' Congress and a member of the same political party as Zelaya, who opposed the referendum. That's a curious choice for a military coup.

Flag of Honduras

It appears that the President of Honduras did in fact break the law firing the Head of the Military. It seems that the Constitution of Honduras provides that although the President is the general commander of the armed forces and his orders must be obeyed (assuming they are otherwise legal) orders must be given through the military chain of command overseen by a Supreme Council.
The Supreme Council is chaired by the commander in chief of the armed forces, who is elected by the National Congress for a term of three years.
Zelaya was elected in November of 2005 for a single 4 year term. It seems odd that since the courts have already denied his bid for a second term and declared his firing of the Commander in Chief illegal, that the Army stepped in. They would have only had to wait a few months for a new election to replace him.

It seems if we can endure Nagin for that long the Hondurans could endure this guy.

It does however appear that a new generation of aspiring "Presidents for Life" is growing in Central and South America. Chavez has removed terms limits in Venezuala. Uribe in Columbia is trying the something similar. You might recall the Peru's Alberto Fujimori somehow got one and one to come up three when applied to term limits. He's now in jail for human rights violations.

I wonder if allegations of a conspiracy to commit mass electoral fraud, similar to the electoral fraud alleged in Iran are true? Would it be appropriate for other branches of Government to step in and prevent it, in defense of the Constitution? Would it be appropriate for the people and military to take action after the election? How do you validate a popular movement?

1 comment:

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