Saturday, December 15, 2012

Ducktatorship in Honduras

I believe that we are on the brink of an imminent dictatorship which will be led by the current president of the National Congress.

So says Edmundo Orellana, a lawyer and former Public Prosecutor for Honduras, about Juan Orlando Hernandez's subjugation of the Supreme Court in Honduras.

This story was the part of the front page of the web edition and print edition before El Heraldo removed all links to it from their front web page.
What I see is that the next person to occupy the presidency will be a reincarnation of General Tiburcio Cárias Andino.

Cárias Andino was the longest ruling of Honduras's 20th century dictators, from 1932-1949.

German Leitzelar, a Congressman from the PINU party, agreed with Orellana, and said that Juan Orlando Hernandez has the agenda of being elected president then staying in power for more than the term of four years.

Leitzelar asserted that now that he's subjugated the Supreme Court to the Legislative branch,
All that needs to happen for what Edmundo Orellana said is to reform the article that prohibits re-election [of the president] and if you have succeeded in arranging it properly, you have arranged for a constitutional dictatorship.

According to both Leitzelar and Orellana,  Juan Orlando Hernandez is sure to win the 2013 presidential election because he has all the mechanisms of power behind him.

This is an oblique reference to the blatant fraud in reported vote counts from the ballot boxes in the primary election, where 26 percent of the ballot boxes failed an international audit, and where a post-election audit by the International Institute for Democracy showed Juan Orlando Hernandez with 7% fewer votes in the primary for the National Party than the official total. That would have been enough to make Ricardo Alvarez, Mayor of Tegucigalpa, the winner of the National Party's nomination for president.

Leitzelar said that Juan Orlando Hernandez has the political goal of becoming the leader of the country and is attempting to remove all the obstacles that present themselves to attain that goal.

Among the obstacles was the appeal Ricardo Alvarez brought before the Supreme Court the day before Congress voted to remove four Supreme Court justices.

Alvarez is asking that the Supreme Court order the Election Court to actually count all the votes from the primary election.

But it is not just Juan Orlando Hernandez who delivered this blow to democracy in Honduras; it is Porfirio Lobo Sosa too, who supports the action, even if he didn't actually put Juan Orlando Hernandez up to it.

Lobo Sosa showed his complete disdain for an independent court, as called for in the Honduran constitution, when he told journalists in a Christmas lunch yesterday:
If there is a law there [in review by the court], before issuing an opinion they should at least consult with those who wrote the law, or those who approved the law; I think [what happened to the Supreme Court justices] is totally just because the powers are independent, but complementary.

Lobo Sosa went on to add:
We should understand that here no one is above the people, the first power of the State is the Legislative branch because it is the one elected.

The Honduran Constitution, Article 4, actually specifies that there are three independent and equal  powers, not that the Legislative branch is above the other two.

The PINU party released a statement Saturday that read in part:
These decisions [of the Congress] are characteristic of dictatorial governments that seek control of the democratic institutions through intimidation and abuse of power.

Or as German Leitzelar put it:
When we have an animal that quacks like a duck, has feet like a duck and feathers like a duck, then its a duck

No comments: