Honduras elections under a coup

The Honduras elections are today. The question is, can there be free and fair elections under this coup?

  • My attempts to make sense of the Honduras coup.
  • A letter calling for restoration of President Zelaya or else non-recognition of the election results, signed by British musicians, polemical authors and politicians such as Lowkey, Brian Eno, Caroline Lucas and John Pilger, as well as some more credible people.
  • What the Honduras people have been found to want – an end to the coup and the reinstatement of Zelaya in advance of elections as scheduled in the electoral calendar (i.e. now). That poll was in early October – by the end the majority had increased to three quarters.
  • The coup leader Micheletti isn’t on the ballot; Zelaya couldn’t be on the ballot because he has reached the end of his term. The coup government look unlikely to win and are polling 16 points behind the National Party.
  • Honduras’ Congress was due to vote on Zelaya’s reinstatement on the 2nd (i.e. after the election – how does that work?) but the Supreme Court (which is said to support the coup) has since ruled that he can only return if he faces charges (yes, the charges which he wasn’t permitted to face when he was bundled out of the country at gunpoint in his pyjamas). This is a mess. Well, it’s a coup. Expatriating Zelaya was unambiguously unconstitutional – if there were allegations against him he should have been impeached.
  • The feeling is that because keeping Zelaya’s supporters down has involved violent repression, these elections will be violent, and will not end the upheaval in Honduras nor the heart wrenching poverty which makes Hondurans vulnerable to populists like Zelaya. However, the coup has endured and the elections are now here. Can they be a reset button for Honduran politics? Can they be free and fair, is the question.
  • For some reason I can’t find predictions, just silence on this, or what seems to me to be dogma, along with impotent outbursts about setting precedents.

Soon we’ll find out.

Update: The National Party won comfortably. Scroll down this New Centrist post a bit for more.

Update 2: the coup and election outcome is being blamed on the Jews.. British and Spanish media (yes, The Guardian) are muttering about a concentration of power in the hands of “Jewish families” or people “descended from Jewish and Palestinian immigrants”.

Update 3: Amnesty is investigating some detentions.Nobody is reporting that there was mass unrest or intimidation on polling day.

Update 4: turnout was comparatively high, no reports of large numbers of ballots spoilt to register protest.

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4 thoughts on “Honduras elections under a coup

    • Well, the coup-makers have handed their political opponents the gift of a big question mark to hang over these elections – even though they were according to the calendar and even though they lost.

      No international observers.
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/nov/30/honduras-lobo-president

      Lobo takes over in January – I wonder what is likely to happen if Zelaya is / is not reinstated when Congress votes on 2nd. Assuming Hondurans accept the poll outcome in itself, would anything make these elections acceptable to the regional presidents who want to make an example of coup leaders?

  1. Pingback: Thoughts on the Election in Honduras « The New Centrist

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