Monday, July 12, 2010

The Frente and the Liberal Party

As the previous posts should indicate, there was considerable tension around the assembly of the FNRP that was held in Tocoa this weekend.

Under the headline Second Day of the National Assembly: the debates and the wager on the unity of the FNRP continue, Vos el Soberano provides a report that starts with the following quote:
"Before being a Liberal I am of the people and the Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular, that is the future.”

Ubodoro Arriaga Izaguirre, Delegate from the Department of La Paz to the First National Assembly of the FNRP.

While that tells the whole story in a nutshell, the report goes on to specify what happened:

Liberal leaders withdrew from the National Assembly of the FNRP on not succeeding in impose their delegates named outside the Departmental Assemblies of the Resistance.

Specifically cited as speaking for the Liberal Party were Carlos Eduardo Reina, Orfilia de Mejía and Rasel Tome, who "took the floor to explain to the departmental delegates their reasons to self-exclude themselves". According to this report they clarified that they "do not renounce" the FNRP, just participating in the provisional National Coordination to be elected today.

On the one hand, this is not that different from what COPINH and the Feminists in Resistance did. But timing is everything. Making a principled statement in advance that you are not interested in being part of a formal structure you consider dubious, and withdrawing when things don't go your way, are as different as, well, making a principled stand and saving face.

Reporting describes an unsuccessful attempt to install 29 extra delegates representing Liberals in Resistance over and above those elected on a state by state basis:
Yesterday, in hours of the afternoon and night, the leaders of the sector called Liberals in Resistance tried by every means to impose and inscribe 29 delegates in addition to those elected in departmental assemblies of the Resistance...

The trigger for rejection by the departmental delegates was, according to this report, an attempt to appoint the ex mayor of Tocoa, Adán Fúnez. The latter participated in open resistance to the coup up until one week before the November election, when, Vos el Soberano (citing news reports in El Heraldo) says
with the intention of relecting himself in office, he appeared in a center of the golpista sector of the Liberal Party to ask, publicly and on bended knee, pardon for having participated in the activities of the Resistance.

One can see why he was an unwelcome person. It is almost unbelievable that experienced party politicians would have such a tin ear as to think this would go down without choking.

Rasel Tome is given the principal responsibility for the attempted to expand delegates:
Within hours of yesterday it was possible to confirm that Rasel Tome had unilaterally ordered his sympathizers to expand the departmental delegates from two incumbents and an alternate to four incumbents and an alternate (two additional hand-picked delegates) against the decision of the last Assembly of the Resistance celebrated in Siguatepeque that established the number of delegates at 56 for logistical and budgetary reasons.

The report emphasizes that with the departure of the Liberal leaders, debate continued, underlining that the FNRP is not about winning traditional elections:
the political wager of the FNRP will not be the electoral processes, so as not to continue accepting elections Honduras-style, and it was decided that the fundamental task of the moment is the installation of the National Constituent Assembly with the conditions that the popular movement proposes.

In addition, it was made clear that the guarantors of this political process unleashed by the coup d'Etat are not the political parties, but the popular and social movement.

Undoubtedly there will be political analysts willing to argue that the activists of the Frente are being unrealistic and should have trimmed their ambitious project to fit into the goals of the Liberal Party faction.

But the message the Frente is conveying is that politics in Honduras is completely broken: if the system is dysfunctional, taking it over will not help.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Bravo to the Resistance. The Liberal party needs to understand that this process is not theirs, that the Liberals in Resistance can be a part of it, but that "re-taking" the Liberal party is not only impossible, but a completely ineffectual undertaking.

If there are Liberals that want to make the party more progressive, they can do that outside of the Resistance or in addition to working within the Resistance.