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  • Honduran president overthrown, new leader voted in

    Honduran president overthrown, new leader voted in


    TEGUCIGALPA Honduran troops ousted President Manuel Zelaya Sunday and flew him out of the country, ending a bitter power struggle with the military as parliament swiftly voted in a new leader.

    Zelaya insisted as he arrived in regional neighbor Costa Rica that he remained the president of his Central American nation, but just hours later the Congress voted in the parliamentary speaker as the country's new leader.

    The first such major upheaval in several decades in the impoverished country was triggered by a tense political standoff between Zelaya and the country's military and legal institutions over his bid to secure a second term.

    "I will never give up since I was elected the president by the people," Zelaya said from San Jose, accusing Honduran troops of kidnapping him and denouncing what he called a "political conspiracy."

    But Congress said it voted unanimously to remove him from office for his "apparent misconduct" and for "repeated violations of the constitution and the law and disregard of orders and judgments of the institutions."

    In his place they appointed speaker Roberto Micheletti as the new leader to serve out the rest of the term, which ends in January. New general elections are planned for November 29.

    Zelaya, elected to a non-renewal four-year term in 2005, had planned a vote Sunday asking Hondurans to sanction a future referendum to allow him to run for reelection in the November polls.

    The planned referendum had been ruled illegal by the country's top court and was opposed by the military, but the president said he planned to press ahead with it anyway and ballot boxes had already been distributed.

    The Supreme Court said Sunday that it had ordered the president's ouster in order to protect law and order in the nation of some seven million people.

    "Today's events originate from a court order by a competent judge," the country's highest court said in a statement read by spokesman Danilo Izaguirre.

    The drama unfolded just about dawn on Sunday when some 200 troops swooped on Zelaya's home. He was bundled away in his pyjamas and flown out of the country.

    A leading government official, Armando Sarmiento, told AFP that at least eight cabinet members were also detained including Foreign Minister Patricia Rodas.

    As planes and helicopters overflew the capital, several hundred Zelaya supporters ignored warnings to stay home and flooded onto the streets of Tegucigalpa shouting out, "We want Mel," the president's nickname.

    But the demonstration was halted in front of the presidential palace when the way was barred by a cordon of troops and armored vehicles.

    US President Barack Obama said he was deeply concerned about the events in Honduras, as US officials said they recognized Zelaya as the country's legitimate president.

    "We recognize Zelaya as the duly elected and constitutional president of Honduras. We see no other," the Obama administration official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

    UN chief Ban Ki-moon said he wanted Zelaya to be reinstated and human rights in the country to be fully respected.

    "The Secretary-General... expresses his strong support for the country?s democratic institutions and condemns the arrest today of the constitutional President of the Republic," a UN statement said.

    Sunday's dramatic events were the culmination of a tense political standoff over the past several days.

    Last week Zelaya sacked the country's top military chief, General Romeo Vasquez and also accepted the resignation of Defense Minister Edmundo Orellana, after military commanders refused to distribute ballot boxes for Sunday's vote.

    The heads of the army, marines and air force also resigned.

    The Honduran Supreme Court then unanimously voted Thursday to reinstate Vasquez and hundreds of troops massed late last week in the capital Tegucigalpa.

    Zelaya, who was elected as a conservative, has shifted dramatically to the left during his presidency.

    He is the latest in a long list of Latin American leaders, including Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, to seek constitutional changes to expand presidential powers and also ease term limits.

    Chavez also denounced Sunday's arrest as a "coup d'etat" and alleged that the United States had a hand in Zelaya's overthrow.

    And he warned that if Venezuela's envoys to Honduras were harmed he would be prepared to intervene militarily. Cuba's ambassador to Honduras, Juan Carlos Hernandez, said he had been briefly detained and hit by troops.
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  • #2
    But Congress said it voted unanimously to remove him from office for his "apparent misconduct" and for "repeated violations of the constitution and the law and disregard of orders and judgments of the institutions."
    So as an American political analogy, was he impeached and convicted? Does such a mechanism exist in Honduras?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by rj1 View Post
      So as an American political analogy, was he impeached and convicted? Does such a mechanism exist in Honduras?
      More like a recall election which removed Grey Davis as the governor of Kalifornia.

      The people had enough of his free spending ways and decided to remove him from office using the specified recall process in our state constitution.

      By the way, I think we owe him an apology. Ahnold isn't much better. :P

      Of course we can always say that if Grey stayed, we might have gone bankrupt earlier.
      "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

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      • #4
        I don't think he is impeached because there is no trial that had happened.
        sigpic

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        • #5
          Well it's a bit odd. I was following the news on it yesterday. Zelaya was taken to Costa Rica by the Army. And everyone around the world was deploring it as a coup. And then I see a headline saying the Supreme Court ordered the Army to remove him and the congress voting unanimously to oust him.

          gunnut: By the way, I think we owe him an apology. Ahnold isn't much better.

          Of course we can always say that if Grey stayed, we might have gone bankrupt earlier.
          What does this have to deal with the subject matter?

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          • #6
            I have not been following this even and this country in details.

            Is my understand correct that the President was democratically elected and have the support of ordinary Hondurans, as well as other countries including the US. But somehow he does not have the support of the elite including the Judiciary, the Congress and the Army. Together they got him ousted.

            I'm not sure according to their Constitution whether the Supreme Court and the Congress were correct in what they did.
            Last edited by Merlin; 30 Jun 09,, 00:16.

            Comment


            • #7
              Other countries are not happy with the Honduras coup.

              Leaders from Obama to Chavez blast Honduras coup
              29 June Honduras (AP) €” Police and soldiers clashed with thousands of protesters outside Honduras' national palace Monday, leaving at least 15 people injured, as world leaders from Barack Obama to Hugo Chavez demanded the return of a president ousted in a military coup.

              Leftist leaders pulled their ambassadors from Honduras and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala would cut trade with neighboring Honduras for at least 48 hours. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called for Hondurans to rise up against those who toppled his ally, Manuel Zelaya. ...

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Merlin View Post
                I have not been following this even and this country in details.

                Is my understand correct that the President was democratically elected and have the support of ordinary Hondurans, as well as other countries including the US. But somehow he does not have the support of the elite including the Judiciary, the Congress and the Army. Together they got him ousted.

                I'm not sure according to their Constitution whether the Supreme Court and the Congress were correct in what they did.
                From what I understand though, Mr. Zelaya was quite unpopular among the Honduran people.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by rj1 View Post
                  What does this have to deal with the subject matter?
                  It's a "be careful what you wish for" statement. The new guy just might be much worse than the old guy.
                  "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

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                  • #10
                    Interesting how Obama has an immediate, strong opinion on an illegal operation regarding the selection of a leader of a foreign country.

                    I think it's great that he has the guts to stand up to foreign dictators who would disregard the will of the people.
                    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      For the Coup

                      I do not see why the international community is reacting more harshly towards this "coup" than the fraudulant Iranian elections. First of all Zelaya had ignored the explicit rulings of the supreme court and congress during his last few days in office. This was not a military coup but one that had been sanctioned by Hondura's congress and supreme court. The US should not in anyway criticize or attack the new regime that seems to be more friendly to the US. Zelaya placed Honduras within the Bolivarian alliance, an alliance which include socialist governments who are constantly erroding democracy within their nations.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by gunnut View Post
                        Interesting how Obama has an immediate, strong opinion on an illegal operation regarding the selection of a leader of a foreign country.

                        I think it's great that he has the guts to stand up to foreign dictators who would disregard the will of the people.
                        The coup is not in anyway a dictatorship nor is it in disregard to the will of the people

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                        • #13
                          Obama's (and others') harsh reaction to the ousting of President Zelaya is just showboating in the name of democracy. Honduras is of virtually no importance to the United States or the rest of the world. Iran, on the other hand, is. This allows governments to criticize the events that have unfolded in Honduras, but not in Iran. (However different the cirumstances.)

                          I also think that Obama felt he had to make up for his lack of criticism of Iran's democratic processes - and that the Honduras "coup" represented a convenient opportunity for him to become the flag bearer for democracy in the world.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by EBStenowski View Post
                            Obama's (and others') harsh reaction to the ousting of President Zelaya is just showboating in the name of democracy. Honduras is of virtually no importance to the United States or the rest of the world. Iran, on the other hand, is. This allows governments to criticize the events that have unfolded in Honduras, but not in Iran. (However different the cirumstances.)

                            I also think that Obama felt he had to make up for his lack of criticism of Iran's democratic processes - and that the Honduras "coup" represented a convenient opportunity for him to become the flag bearer for democracy in the world.
                            Agreed

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Mostly agree BUT what makes Honduras important is Obama does not want a cascade effect that causes other Central American opposition parties to start thinking they can get away with coups. I think the US is very concerned about the current economic/political climate leading to another period like the 1970s in Latin America, where military ousters were commonplace. We have a major worldwide recession, like in the 70s, and also like the 70s we have some very dangerous and charismatic leaders in Latin America already (Chavez, Morales - we know Chavez is dangerous, not quite as sure about Morales). Not to mention the destablizing effect of the drug wars in Mexico and the transfer of power in Cuba. In other words, I think Obama wants to come down hard on the coup in Honduras because he thinks conditions in Latin America are ripe for widespread destabilization.

                              Originally posted by EBStenowski View Post
                              Obama's (and others') harsh reaction to the ousting of President Zelaya is just showboating in the name of democracy. Honduras is of virtually no importance to the United States or the rest of the world. Iran, on the other hand, is. This allows governments to criticize the events that have unfolded in Honduras, but not in Iran. (However different the cirumstances.)

                              I also think that Obama felt he had to make up for his lack of criticism of Iran's democratic processes - and that the Honduras "coup" represented a convenient opportunity for him to become the flag bearer for democracy in the world.
                              Last edited by travelmonkeys; 13 Jul 09,, 00:08.

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