Responses to the Coup d'etat in Honduras on Sunday June 28, with special emphasis on producing English-language versions of commentaries by Honduran scholars and editorial writers and addressing the confusion encouraged by lack of basic knowledge about Honduras.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Micheletti Appointed Congressman For Life

Last night the National Congress appointed Roberto Micheletti Bain a Congressman for life. This was the final act of this golpista Congress before closing its legislative session. The decree was presented in a special ceremony in Congress last night by Manuel Ivan Fiallos, a Micheletti supporter who was re-elected in November.


John (Juan) Donaghy said...

This, I believe, is a type of amnesty. Can a congressman be brought up on charges in Honduras?
Remember that the Chilean congress did the same for Pinochet.

Manos Symeonakis said...

It seems that the supposed "constitutional crisis" evolved in monarchy... can't say it wasn't expected...

John (Juan) Donaghy said...

I just checked with a Honduran who works in political citizenship work. It appears that impunity was removed from deputies recently. But as president for life Micheletti will get a deputy's salary and all the benefits they have (which I think includes no taxes on importing luxury cars up to a certain price).

rns said...

John, you are correct; because of scandalous behavior by past diputados, their immunity from prosecution was revoked and thus they are subject to the same judicial process as Zelaya. RAJ bogged about the change.

I never believed in this Congress doing anything ethical so appointing a golpista to Congress for life fits with their ethical lapses.

rns said...

However, Clarin reports that they also granted him immunity from political prosecution and gave him a gold cross.

Caonabo said...

Let's not forget that Pinochet's immunity was eventually stripped by the Chilean Supreme Court, so there is still hope that sooner or later Micheletti will get his court date.

RAJ said...

As RNS said, I wrote about the revocation of immunity in a previous post.

I honestly find the present action almost incomprehensible.

Think of it this way: the entire world is asking Micheletti to step aside so Lobo will not receive tarnished power from him.

So what does the Honduran Congress do? It gives him a lifetime government position.

The Clarin story quotes José Saavedra, made head of congress after the coup, as saying Micheletti "has distinguished himself by his democratic inspiration, natural leadership and respect for the constitution and the laws" and that "under his leadership peace was maintained in the country".

The article goes on to quote Marvin Ponce protesting, correctly, that "There does not exist this figure of deputy for life in Honduran legislation. The Constitution establishes that deputies are elected by direct and secret vote of the people".

So much for defending the constitution. As for keeping the peace, well, I will let others decide about that.

RAJ said...

More on immunity: while Clarin says this action confers immunity on Micheletti, I am not sure why it would.

If this newly invented status is understood to be bound by the rules governing diputados (with the exception of being actually, you know, elected for, what is, a term), then Micheletti gains no immunity, because diputados have no immunity from prosecution.

Perhaps the congress conveniently forgot this?