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July 7, 2009
U.S. confers with deposed president of Honduras

In Washington on Tuesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with the deposed president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya. She announced that the president of Costa Rica will serve as a mediator in the Honduran political crisis, adding that both Zelaya and the man who replaced him, Roberto Micheletti, had agreed to the mediation. Clinton also called on all parties to refrain from further violence.

Christopher Sabatini, the senior director of policy at the Council of the Americas, joins Martin Savidge to discuss the political situation in Honduras and the role of the U.S.

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Interestingly, the Honduran Constitution of 1982 does provide for loss of citizenship for those who “incite, promote or aid in the continuation or re-election of the President” (article 42):
ARTICULO 42.- La calidad de ciudadano se pierde:
5. Por incitar, promover o apoyar el continuismo o la reelección del Presidente de la República; y,
Further, Article 239 indicates that anyone who has held the office of chief executive cannot be president or vice president and anyone who proposes reform to that prohibition can be barred from holding public office for ten years:
ARTICULO 239.- El ciudadano que haya desempeñado la titularidad del Poder Ejecutivo no podrá ser Presidente o Vicepresidente de la República.
El que quebrante esta disposición o proponga su reforma, así como aquellos que lo apoyen directa o indirectamente, cesarán de inmediato en el desempeño de sus respectivos cargos y quedarán inhabilitados por diez (10) años para el ejercicio de toda función pública.
My educated guess on that provision is that it is aimed move at banning past military dictators from pursuing the office than it is a stricture contra re-election, per se.
Additionally, Article 374 bars any amendments regarding the length of the presidential term (amongst other things:
ARTICULO 374.- No podrán reformarse, en ningún caso, el artículo anterior, el presente artículo, los artículos constitucionales que se refieren a la forma de gobierno, al territorio nacional, al período presidencial, a la prohibición para ser nuevamente Presidente de la República, el ciudadano que lo haya desempeñado bajo cualquier título y el referente a quienes no pueden ser Presidentes de la República por el período subsiguiente.
As such, it is pretty clear why the Supreme Court of Justice ruled against Zelaya’s plebiscite proposal in the first place. It also means that if the vote had been allowed to happen it would have had no legal standing.

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