In a surprise move last night, Juan Orlando Hernandez, president of the National Congress of Honduras and official candidate for the National Party to the presidency of Honduras, proposed and pushed a bill aimed to destitute (dismiss) 4 members of the Supreme Court of Honduras. In a surprisingly fast investigation, that took less than 24 hours, congress approved the bill, and then within a few hours had selected and even sworn in the new members of the court!
The move, as confirmed by the comments made to press by the vice president of Congress, Marvin Ponce, is aimed at averting a positive judicial position to a suit that will be filed today by Ricardo Alvarez, one of the pre candidates of the National Party in the recent primary elections who claims that he legally won the elections. In his legal effort to prove this, Alvarez is demanding a vote by vote count, which Hernandez fiercely opposes.
The Supreme Court magistrates that have been deposed were part of the constitutional court, which determines if a law is accordance to the constitution, and they have recently turned back several laws that congress has passed. It appears that instead of doing their job well, and passing laws that take into consideration the rights to the Honduran people that are guaranteed in the current constitution, Congress has decided it is easier to change the magistrates of the Supreme Court to insure that they do not question the contradictions that exist in the laws they pass!
Many different institutions have considered this a state coup, with an illegal intervention of the legislative branch of government over the judicial branch. According to Marvin Ponce, the vice president of Congress and a representative of the UD leftist party, the president of the Supreme Court of Justice, Judge Rivera Aviles has been kept fully up to date and his approval to the process has been tacit!
It is evident that Juan Orlando Hernandez will do anything to reach the presidency of Honduras during the next elections. With this move, he has insured that the suit to be filed today by Ricardo Alvarez requesting a vote by vote count will be turned down. We can only ask, if Hernandez is so sure of his recent triumph in the primary elections, where he reputedly won by a small single digit difference, why does he refuse a vote by vote count? Furthermore, by promoting an illegal destitution of supreme court magistrates to avoid this vote by vote count, he is only confirming what many already believe, that he manipulated the electoral results using a complex network, using at least 3 political movements within his party that were given a last minute time extension to register in the voting process, thus insuring that he controlled 4 of 7 votes at each voting station, guaranteeing that he had control of the electoral authority at each station.
It will be interesting to see if Hernandez can consolidate his questionable leadership in the National Party and whether in the end the people of Honduras vote for him as president next November. It appears that by doing these political manoeuvres he is insuring his participation in the next elections, however, it remains to be seen if he is effectively adding more voters to his cause or actually disenchanting many and forcing them to look for other options.
The coming 2013 elections will have a total of 9 candidates for the presidency, but in our opinion, only 4 have a chance to win the elections. Will Hernandez seek to close a deal with some of the other 5 candidates in exchange for control of the voting stations and do the same dirty tricks he did during the primaries? We are sure that at least one will side with him, but he will need at least 3 more have the total control. We will keep our eyes open and ears attentive to see what is cooking over the next few months.
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