by Daniel Urbino
Honduras is being visited by ghosts from the recent past. Some political sectors are moving pieces on the chess board and sparking debate on the need for a constituent assembly, for allowing re-election or for maintaining the status quo.
The dispute gained strength on December 8, 2014, when more than a dozen congress members from the ruling Partido Nacional (PN) and one from the Unificación Democrática submitted an appeal to the supreme court on the constitutionality of an article of the Honduran constitution. The article, number 239, declares that a citizen who has held the position of head of the executive branch cannot become president again. Anyone violating this provision or proposing its reform, as well as those who support [its reform], directly or indirectly, will immediately surrender their respective positions and will remain ineligible for any public function for ten years, the provision further states.
This is not the first time the topic has been taken up in Honduras. In 2009, then President Manuel Zelaya promoted what was known as the “fourth ballot,” a non-binding survey to determine if the people were in favor of a constitutional reform or not. This would take place on the same day as the elections of the president, congress members and mayors, for which reason it was called the “fourth ballot.” (more…)