On Tuesday December 2, 2009, Honduran Congress, in a historic session open to national and international news media, are voting one by one, giving their name and their vote regarding the restitution of ex honduran president Manuel “Mel” Zelaya.
The mayority of congressmen are voting against the restitution of Mel Zelaya. Many have given their opinion and reasons as to why they voted the way they did. Their decisions were based on the recomendations of the Supreme Court, Attorney General and Human Rights Commisioner.
More updates to come when the session is adjourned.
The vote is currently 11 in favor and 91 against the restitution of mel Zelaya out of a total of 128.
The honduran elections held on the last sunday of November as specified in the electoral law, came and went in civic order. Hondurans visted their poll stations in droves and voted for their new public officials. Voter turnout is estimated at over 70%. When Manuel Zelaya was elected president, only 54% of registered voters participated.
The United States hailed the elections and congratulated the Honduran by the orderly and transparent way the elections were handled.
Pepe Lobo (National party) is currently leading with 55% of the vote against 36% of Elvin Santos (Liberal party).
The Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) will be giving updates on the other levels of governement for which elections were also held. (Mayors and Congressmen)
News about Honduras Visit www.in-honduras.com
Thomas A. Shannon Jr., Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, stated yesterday, that the agreement signed in Honduras by both parties representing Manuel Zelaya Rosales and Roberto Micheletti states that the decision made by Congress must be respected by both sides.
Shannon reiterated that the United States and the International community will also respect the decision made by the Honduran Congress, whether it be positive or negative regarding reinstating Manuel Zelaya Rosales as president of Honduras.
He made it clear that the they (US and international community) recognize the Honduran Congress will make a decision on when and if Zelaya should return to power. It is a political matter that has to be resolved politically and Congress is the appointed branch of government to make that decision. Both sides have committed themselves to respect the results of that decision and emphasized that there are two options, yes or no on Zelayas return, and not one as Zelaya followers have tried to force on the media.
The Honduran Congress is currently on recess and efforts are being made to meet and review the Guaymura accord.
Honduras’ 8 Point Accord, Zelaya in Hands of Congress
The accord ex president Zelaya’s and president Micheletti’s sides will sign tonight, contemplates Zelaya’s restitution will be considered by the Honduran Congress after consultation with the Honduran Supreme Court.
The agreement is comprised of 8 points which are:
1. Creation of a unity and reconciliation government.
2. No political amnesty for either side even though Micheletti offered it to Zelaya.
3. Recognition of the elections to be held on November 29, 2009.
4. Transfer of authority over the Honduran Armed Forces to the Electoral Supreme Tribunal.
5. Creation of a verification commission to uphold all points of this accord.
6. Creation of a Commission of Truth that will investigate the events before, during and after June 28th when Zelaya was removed from office.
7. Ask the international community to remove all sanctions against Honduras and send international observers to the November elections.
8. Regarding the possible restitution of Mr. Zelaya, let the Honduran National Congressn decide, after receiving the Supreme Court’s opinion, to return the executive branch to its status before June 28, 2009.
If both sides sign the agreement tonight, it will have to be followed thoroughly and the results accepted without hesitation by both parties.
A deal was reached between the sides representing President Roberto Micheletti and ex President Manuel Zelaya Rosales. After 4 months of the presidential succession in Honduras, which has been denounced around the world as a military coup in which Manuel Zelaya was removed from office and later expelled to Costa Rica, a deal has been reached.
Negotiations between both sides had come to a stale mate and were not moving forward after last week, the side representing Manuel Zelaya stepped off the negotiation table.
On Thursday, October 29, a high level commission send by the United States, integrated by assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, Thomas A. Shannon Jr., Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Craig Kelly and Dan Restrepo.
This commission met with both sides and coaxed them back to the negotiation table. By noon on Thursday Shannon announced a deal was ready and only needed to be signed by both sides and that time was running out if Honduras wanted to hold elections. By 10:30 pm an announcement was made that both sides had agreed to sign.
The agreement includes plans to conform a unity government with members from both sides of the issue, recognition of elections in Honduras, restoring aid that had been cut off since the presidential succession and sending to Congress a request by Zelaya to be re instated as President of Honduras.
Negotiators will meet again today to work out a time-frame in which all points of the accord have to be met.
Zelaya’s restitution lies now in the hands of the Honduran Congress. The agreement states that both sides will adhere to the result of that vote.
Iam Kelly, spokesman for the United States Department of State, said in the latest press briefing held on October23, that the United States is eager to find a solution to the ongoing conflict and try and reach a solution that restores the democratically elected president to power.
According to legal and political experts in Honduran law, such a move would violate the Constitution of this country and thus the return of Zelaya would be illegal.
The interventionism of the government of the United States led by Barack Obama in the Honduran matter is a clear sign of disparity in policy when it comes to foreign relations.
In a reckless act that could have ended in tragedy, ex Honduran president Manuel Zelaya Rosales â€œMel Zelayaâ€, attempted to cross the border between Honduras and Nicaragua. The ex president did not actually come into Honduras were he would have been arrested, but remained in a â€œneutral dead zoneâ€ between the borders of both countries as anyone who has made border crossings in Central America can confirm.
Not following the recommendations of OASâ€™ Miguel Insulza and the United States Head of the Department of State Hillary Clintonâ€™s against going into Honduras by force and instead waiting for the results of negotiations in Costa Rica; ex President Manuel Zelaya showed the world how stubborn and hard headed he is and staged a false border crossing that could have flared a conflict.
That act reminds the Honduran community of many other he performed as president and when he finally ignored the position of Congress, the Supreme Court, the attorney General and the Supreme Electoral Tribunal and ended up violating the Constitution. He continued with his efforts to go with his illegal referendum (declared illegal by the Supreme Court) which placed him in the position he is today.
Probe launched after foes say president stole from government
The Attorney Generalâ€™s office inspected the third floor of the building annex of the Presidential Palace and discovered evidence of fraud, abuse of power and corruption by misuse of government funds in order to hold the illegal referendum which led to Zelaya violating the constitution and his ouster from power. The locale was rented by Enrique Flores Lanza without authorization from the government.
The evidence found is a lot of computers which belonged to a scientific education program but had been removed in order to use them in the tally of votes in the illegal referendum. Found alongside the computers were completed vote tally sheets that showed about 80% of the vote in favor of Zelayasâ€™ proposal.Â This is being investigated as fraud as the vote never took place and results had already been fabricated.
The abuse of power charge stems from the use of the computers which were donated to be used in scientific education programs and the corruption charge from renting the locale the computers were in with governments funds not authorized for that purpose.
Get your News about Honduras at www.in-honduras.com
We are presenting this article written by Octavio SÃ¡nchez, (appeared on the CS Monitor Opinion section, http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0702/p09s03-coop.html) as a Dummy Guide to the current situation in Honduras which is being called a coup d’etat but really is not.
A ‘coup’ in Honduras? Nonsense.
Don’t believe the myth. The arrest of President Zelaya represents the triumph of the rule of law.By Octavio SÃ¡nchez
from the July 2, 2009 edition
Tegucigalpa, Honduras – Sometimes, the whole world prefers a lie to the truth. The White House, the United Nations, the Organization of American States, and much of the media have condemned the ouster of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya this past weekend as a coup d’Ã©tat.
That is nonsense.
In fact, what happened here is nothing short of the triumph of the rule of law.
To understand recent events, you have to know a bit about Honduras’s constitutional history. In 1982, my country adopted a new Constitution that enabled our orderly return to democracy after years of military rule. After more than a dozen previous constitutions, the current Constitution, at 27 years old, has endured the longest.
It has endured because it responds and adapts to changing political conditions: Of its original 379 articles, seven have been completely or partially repealed, 18 have been interpreted, and 121 have been reformed.
It also includes seven articles that cannot be repealed or amended because they address issues that are critical for us. Those unchangeable articles include the form of government; the extent of our borders; the number of years of the presidential term; two prohibitions â€“ one with respect to reelection of presidents, the other concerning eligibility for the presidency; and one article that penalizes the abrogation of the Constitution.
During these 27 years, Honduras has dealt with its problems within the rule of law. Every successful democratic country has lived through similar periods of trial and error until they were able to forge legal frameworks that adapt to their reality. France crafted more than a dozen constitutions between 1789 and the adoption of the current one in 1958. The US Constitution has been amended 27 times since 1789. And the British â€“ pragmatic as they are â€“ in 900 years have made so many changes that they have never bothered to compile their Constitution into a single body of law.
Under our Constitution, what happened in Honduras this past Sunday? Soldiers arrested and sent out of the country a Honduran citizen who, the day before, through his own actions had stripped himself of the presidency.
These are the facts: On June 26, President Zelaya issued a decree ordering all government employees to take part in the “Public Opinion Poll to convene a National Constitutional Assembly.” In doing so, Zelaya triggered a constitutional provision that automatically removed him from office.
Constitutional assemblies are convened to write new constitutions. When Zelaya published that decree to initiate an “opinion poll” about the possibility of convening a national assembly, he contravened the unchangeable articles of the Constitution that deal with the prohibition of reelecting a president and of extending his term. His actions showed intent.
Our Constitution takes such intent seriously. According to Article 239: “No citizen who has already served as head of the Executive Branch can be President or Vice-President. Whoever violates this law or proposes its reform [emphasis added], as well as those that support such violation directly or indirectly, will immediately cease in their functions and will be unable to hold any public office for a period of 10 years.”
Notice that the article speaks about intent and that it also says “immediately” â€“ as in “instant,” as in “no trial required,” as in “no impeachment needed.”
Continuismoâ€“ the tendency of heads of state to extend their rule indefinitely â€“ has been the lifeblood of Latin America’s authoritarian tradition. The Constitution’s provision of instant sanction might sound draconian, but every Latin American democrat knows how much of a threat to our fragile democracies continuismo presents. In Latin America, chiefs of state have often been above the law. The instant sanction of the supreme law has successfully prevented the possibility of a new Honduran continuismo.
The Supreme Court and the attorney general ordered Zelaya’s arrest for disobeying several court orders compelling him to obey the Constitution. He was detained and taken to Costa Rica. Why? Congress needed time to convene and remove him from office. With him inside the country that would have been impossible. This decision was taken by the 123 (of the 128) members of Congress present that day.
Don’t believe the coup myth. The Honduran military acted entirely within the bounds of the Constitution. The military gained nothing but the respect of the nation by its actions.
I am extremely proud of my compatriots. Finally, we have decided to stand up and become a country of laws, not men. From now on, here in Honduras, no one will be above the law.
Octavio SÃ¡nchez, a lawyer, is a former presidential adviser (2002-05) and minister of culture (2005-06) of the Republic of Honduras.
Get your News about Honduras at www.in-honduras.com