Honduras: resistance plans election boycott

Two Honduran presidential candidates announced in a communiquĂ© on Sept. 9 that they will not participate in the Nov. 29 general elections unless four conditions are met: the return of President JosĂ© Manuel Zelaya Rosales, who was removed from office by a military coup on June 28; an end to human rights violations; the demilitarization of Honduran society; and an end to a slander campaign against the leftist Democratic Unification (UD) party, which currently holds four of the 128 seats in the Congress. The two candidates are former union leader Carlos H. Reyes and legislative deputy CĂ©sar Ham, who heads the UD. Both are active in the National Front Against the Coup d’Etat, the leading resistance coalition; the front issued a communiquĂ© on Sept. 7 calling for a boycott of “the electoral farce called by the coup perpetrators.”

The announcements by the front and the two leftist candidates seemed to conclude a debate within the resistance on whether to participate in elections under the present circumstances. The president, three vice presidents, 256 legislative deputies and alternates, 40 deputies to the Central American Parliament, and 298 mayors are to be selected in the balloting, which was scheduled in May before the coup; some 7.5 million Hondurans are eligible to vote. The de facto government headed by Roberto Micheletti—along with the two traditional parties, the National Party (PN) and the Liberal Party (PL)—have been hoping that the November vote would give them a way to legitimize Zelaya’s removal. (AP, Sept. 9; Frente Nacional Contra el Golpe de Estado communiquĂ© #23, Spt. 7)

Most countries, including the US, have indicated that they won’t recognize elections held under the de facto government. On Sept. 10 the European Commission announced in Brussels that the European Union will not send observers to the November vote if it is overseen by the coup regime. (Latin American Herald Tribune, Sept. 10 from EFE)

Honduran business owners reportedly have a new strategy for making the elections successful. They are considering a plan to “give a discount in all the businesses to people who vote, so that people will go to the stores with the ink on their fingers [after voting] and get an automatic discount on any purchase they make anywhere in the country,” National Association of Industries of Honduras (ANDI) president Adolfo FacussĂ© said in the Sept. 9 issue of the daily La Tribuna. The goal is “to strengthen democracy and overcome voter abstention,” FacussĂ© told the paper, which is owned by his cousin, former president Carlos Flores FacussĂ© (1998-2002). (La Tribuna, Sept. 9)

In addition to clarifying its position on the elections, the National Front used its Sept. 7 communiquĂ© to announce the formation of a National Coordinating Committee for the next three months, a commitment to “struggling for a Constituent Assembly” to rewrite the 1982 Constitution, and an effort to defend longtime environmental activist Father JosĂ© AndrĂ©s Tamayo from the de facto government’s efforts to deport him to his native El Salvador. The front also announced the formation of an International Commission to coordinate solidarity work with activists outside Honduras. (Frente Nacional communiquĂ© #23, Sept. 7/09; ComisiĂłn Internacional Nota informativa #1, Sept. 7; Prensa Latina, Sept. 8; Honduras Coup 2009 blog, Sept. 7).

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Sept. 13

See our last post on Honduras.

  1. Nonsense directed at Honduras
    The Obama administration is showing its true S O C I A L I S T colors by continuing to punish Honduras for actions that were not in violation of, but IN ACCORDANCE with the HONDURAN CONSTITUTION – and which did not curtail democracy but which PRESERVED DEMOCRACY. My frustration is why in the hell can’t people read – as even a middle school student could – the facts of actually what occurred. To be doing what they are doing indicates they have not read the actual transactions in Honduras, but only pro-leftist hearsay. It has deeply embarrassed me as an American – as one to whose country Honduras has allowed to have on its soil our most valuable out of country military base in the wwestern hemisphere. What a horrible way to treat a country that has been a faithful ally. May God strengthen and protect them in their drive to maintain democracy.

    1. The Coup Was Constitutional?
      Both the Honduran and the US right have insisted since June 28 that the Honduran Congress and Supreme Court had the constitutional authority to remove President Zelaya from office. On Sept. 24 the US right actually tried to back that claim with facts and arguments: Rep. Aaron Schock released a report he’d gotten from a researcher at the Library of Congress Law Library (although he misrepresented it as a report from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service).

      Experts on Honduran law immediately dismissed this report as laughable. It’s based on personal communications from just one Honduran legal expert, a coup supporter, and carefully ignores opinions from other Honduran and international experts, and even a 2003 decision of the Honduran Supreme Court. Follow the links below for more information:

      http://upsidedownworld.org/main/content/view/2131/68/

      http://hondurascoup2009.blogspot.com/2009/09/grade-d-flawed-research-from-law.html

      http://hondurascoup2009.blogspot.com/2009/10/congress-versus-supreme-court-long.html

      Presumably the Schock report represents the right’s best shot for the claim that Zelaya’s removal was constitutional. Since it turns out to be totally incompetent, rational people will conclude that the coup was in fact a coup.

      And of course on Sept. 27 de facto president Micheletti showed his respect for the Honduran Constitution of 1982 by suspending free speech and assembly rights for 45 days.

      David L. Wilson, Weekly News Update on the Americas