Honduras’ Congress: 111-14 against reinstating Zelaya

Here is the resolution from the Congress of Honduras, and the reaction from president Roberto Micheletti, whose appointment has now been confirmed. There was first a “debate”, in which mainly supporters of the reinstatement made their points, notably Cesar Ham. After that the voting followed, but a few persons in, they started making statements about their reason for voting as they did, and those statements also grew very long. However, it was interesting to hear the various points of views about Zelaya. A number of persons told about how they had supported Zelaya, but had abandoned him due to his plans for remaining in power. They denounced how the presidency changed, how a small group tried to hold on to power, how others had good intentions but were betrayed, and that in effect a coup was planned. It was truly an historical session, and I hope it is recorded and put online so that all Hondurans can listen to it and learn from it. – Below are comments written while watching the debate unfolding.

At this very moment (15:00 Honduran time) the Congress in Honduras is debating the reinstatement of Zelaya, according to the Guaymuras agreement signed several weeks ago. A motion has been introduced to ratify the decision to depose Zelaya in June, and to replace him with Roberto Micheletti. The motion had a great number of sponsors, but I could not count if it was over 50% of the members (there are 128 members).

Congress member Cesar Ham, who is pro-Zelaya, leader of the leftist party UD who got a low single-digit percentage of votes in the election last Sunday, has been talking for a while now, saying that Honduras is a dictatorship. But when he said that a large number of people had been killed (I missed the exact number) he got booed. He says that he wants an “assemblea constituyente”, i.e., a constituting constitutional assembly, in other words, to throw out the constitution of the Republic of Honduras. Just as a comparison, if a U.S.  congressperson had said that, they would have violated their oath of office.

The head of the PINU group in congress is now speaking. He started by pointing out that international media should take notice that Honduras is a democracy, and that everyone is allowed to speak their point of view (with obvious reference to Cesar Ham’s discourse).

A lawyer is talking now. Apparently not a good one, because he cannot see the difference between prosecuting and condemning a citizen criminally, and removing an elected official from office based on prima facie evidence for violations of the constitution. He must not understand the distinction between immediately dismissing a police from his work based on e.g. a video of him beating an innocent person, and that police later being prosecuted for that crime. Manuel Zelaya has not been convicted (yet), he has only been removed from office in order to prevent further crimes against the form of government, based on Zelaya’s publicly stated intentions.

After 4 hours the voting is still on-going, since many of the congressmen are making long statements about the reasons for their vote. Several are very passionate, and that on both sides of the issue; both those who consider that Zelaya was planning a coup d’état (and they are numerous), and those who consider that it was a coup to depose him. I haven’t counted, but the initial tendency was clearly for accepting the motion to approve the decision taken in June to replace Zelaya with Micheletti.

At 21:35 they finished voting, the result being 111 for the motion, 14 against. This means that Congress decided NOT to reinstate Zelaya.

Media: SvD, DN (apparently published before the final vote count was finished).

Zelaya’s resignation letter to be examined

After Honduran member of Congress Marcia Villeda was accused by some media of having falsified ex-president Manuel Zelaya’s signature on his resignation letter that was presented to Congress in June, she yesterday went to the Attorney General of Honduras and asked them to investigate forensically if the signature was forged or not, which they agreed to do.

Manuel Zelaya, cheered on by Hugo Chávez, has stated that he didn’t write that letter. However, as I have reported on this blog previously, there is allegedly a person in Tegucigalpa who witnessed his writing and signing of the letter. I don’t know the identity of that person, nor what the media alleged that caused Marcia Villeda to take this step to protect her name, but it would not be far-fetched to assume that she knows the truth about the letter for a fact. As does of course Zelaya, but since he appears to be habitually lying through his teeth lately, his words count for nothing in my opinion.

Having looked closely at a scanned image of the letter, my personal hunch is that he probably did sign it, but with a pen that was running out of ink. Whoever signed it switched pen in the middle of the signature. Chávez purposefully manipulated the scanned image so that only the latter half of the signature is visible, and claimed that there was no similarity at all. Consider this: Would a forger be that careless as to use a bad pen without checking that it works? It implies not doing any practice signatures first. Have you ever heard of anyone forging a signature without practicing?

Marcia Villeda arriving at the prosecutor's office.
Marcia Villeda arriving at the prosecutor's office.