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A Farce in Honduras

La Opinin, Editorial, Staff Posted: Nov 14, 2009

LOS ANGELES -- The most noteworthy aspect of the Honduran political crisis is the claim of constitutionality bandied about by Roberto Michelettis de facto government. But don't be misled: in this case, the Constitution and Supreme Court are simply tools being used specifically to defend values opposed to democracy.

If President Mel Zelaya violated the Constitution by wanting to open the door to reelection, Honduran institutions were no more respectful in forcibly exiling the leader from the country in the middle of the night. There can be no doubt: that was a coup-dtat.

For that reason, the only way back to democratic normality is the return of Zelaya to the presidency, even with all the limitations imposed by the agreements signed but not respected. It is no surprise that the noncompliance has been the fault of Micheletti who, contrary to what was apparently negotiated by the United States, wants to head the agreed-upon reconciliation government instead of Zelaya.

The Honduran Congress was to authorize Zelayas return but decided to undertake unlimited consultations seeking legal opinions prior to voting on the ousted presidents reinstatement. The Honduran Supreme Court has decided to establish a commission to study the case, with no timetable for its work. It is obvious that the government intends to continue delaying the process until the next presidential elections on November 29, or until January 27, when the new government will take office.

A constitutional farce is taking place in Honduras. It started in June with the overthrow of Zelaya and continues to this day. This mockery of the international community, and especially of the efforts of the United States, is sad. The outcome of the first trial by fire of the Obama administrations efforts to support democracy in the hemisphere is increasingly disappointing.

History has seen many de facto governments that held elections and were succeeded by democracies. In Honduras, this process is increasingly compromised by the current government's dictatorial attitude of the to the bitter end.

If this continues, the next government will take office under the cloud of the current political forces, the very forces that disrespect voters and make a mockery of democracy by invoking the constitution.

Related Articles:

Power Sharing- the Fix-it-all From Honduras to Zimbabwe

Reporter's Notebook: Opponents View Zelaya as Polarizing Figure

It's Not about Zelaya or Micheletti -- Honduras Under Siege

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