Thursday, February 4, 2016

Nasralla Denied Entry to Congress

Mauricio Oliva rules the Honduran Congress with an iron hand.  His armed guards are omnipresent, and free access to Congressional proceedings is practically non-existent, even if you are an accredited reporter.  During voting sessions for the Supreme Court, his armed guards stand between the ballot box and the seated Congress members as they come up to cast their ballots.

Today his security guards detained the leader of the Partido Anticorrupción (PAC), Salvador Nasralla, from entering.  He sought to go in to find out if there would be a vote today on Supreme Court nominees (there wasn't).  He isn't a member of Congress, but he is the head of a political party that currently won't vote for the suite of candidates being put forward by the National and Liberal parties.

When Nasralla arrived this morning, as he has on many previous occasions, the guards prevented him entering while they checked with their supervisor to see whether or not to let him in.  Their supervisor, via walkie-talkie, told them he was not authorized to enter, so they detained him and questioned him as to his purpose for wanting to go in.

He had to call one of his party members who was a member of Congress, who then had to negotiate permission for Nasralla to come in.  To quote one of the articles, Virgilio Padilla, Congressman for the Department of Francisco Morazan and a member of PAC, literally "had to convince the head of security that the engineer (Nasralla) did not represent any danger."

Nasralla proposed today that PAC would accept the imposition of Rolando Argueta, currently the chief prosecutor, as Chief Justice, if Oliva would open up the voting to at least six of the candidates favored by PAC.

"We need 7 (justices) more, they want to place one who they say is Mr. Argueta because he will do what they want on extradition, but the other 6 should be from the list agreed to by PAC.  We've knocked around the list of 15 candidates that at least among them should be six that go there to defend the people."

Remember that the Nominating Committee submitted a list of 45 candidates that was split evenly between National and Liberal party affiliated candidates, plus one independent who was elected in the first round of voting.  Four of the six candidates that Nasralla proposes be voted on are National Party members.

But that deal isn't likely to go through.  So far Mauricio Oliva, the head of Congress, will only allow votes on the National Party's proposed slate of 7 candidates, because being rejected in three separate ballots isn't enough shame.

The next vote for Supreme Court nominees is currently scheduled for Tuesday, February 9.

No comments: