The Result of a Legal Process in Defense of Constitution NOT a Military Coup
In today’s democratic societies, it is an understandable initial reaction to condemn any event that has been referred to as a Military Coup or event that infers the forced imposition of an unelected leader. We, Hondurans, more than anyone strongly condemn such events as we have lived through various military coups in the past. However, the events that have transpired today were neither.
On June 28, 2009 there was NO MILITARY COUP. On June 28, 2009 the military proceeded to arrest Manuel Zelaya following a court order released by our Judicial system. Upon capture, Manuel Zelaya was taken outside of the country and released in Costa Rica. I am first to recognize that we should have detained and judged him in our courts, as this would have lent additional confidence to the international community. However, taking him out of the country was done in order to minimize any potential violence. Unfortunately, it also means he now remains with impunity outside of Honduras and planting a seed of doubt in the international community, regardless of the clear proof of illegality committed by Manuel Zelaya.
On June 28, 2009 there was no forced Imposition of an unelected leader on Honduran people. What transpired today in Congress, resulting in the naming of Roberto Micheletti (him being the next elected official in the order of succession) as the new President of Honduras was a legal and Constitutional succession of powers and involved the unanimous vote of all congressmen, which included members of four of Honduras’ political parties, including Manuel Zelaya’s.
On Sunday June 28, 2009 our Constitution and our Democracy, were in DANGER due to Manuel Zelaya’s illegal actions, knowingly undermining our judicial system, in order to pursue his personal ambitions to remain in power (he only had 6 months left in government). I am attaching a document drafted yesterday (in spanish) by Union Civica Democratica that provides a fuller explanation of the context leading to today’s events.
Sunday June 28, 2009 is a painful yet historic day in which our young democracy, despite its faults, demonstrated it had established the necessary institutions that would defend the Constitution and provide the necessary checks and balances to assure none of the three branches of government (Executive, Legislative, and Judicial) would abuse its power.
The Supreme Court, Congress, Office of Human Rights in Honduras, State Attorney, Attorney General, Supreme Electoral Tribunal, all have recognized the illegality of Manuel Zelaya’s actions and recognized the legality of today’s events.
We hope that in the following days and upon proper review of the facts the international community recognize and lend support to our institutions, to the newly appointed president and to the Honduran’s painful but real victory establishing that Honduras is a state based on law and that no man is above it, regardless of wealth, power or status.