Why Sweden took side for Zelaya?

Honduras president Manuel Zelaya was executing an autogolpe, a self-coup, and for that he was deposed by the Supreme Court and the Congress. Still Europe sided with Zelaya, not with the institutions charged with preserving democracy in Honduras. To understand why, let’s look at the European Union.

Recently the EU (UE in Spanish) has changed its “constitution”. The member states had to approve that change. Take Sweden as example. The organ within the parliament that has to evaluate the legality of proposed legislation is called “Lagrådet”. Their analysis can be found here, in Swedish.

In short, they conclude that the proposed legislation violates the Swedish constitution by enabling the parliament to pass laws that have the effect of neutralizing parts of the constitution, without following the procedure required for changing the constitution. This is tantamount to a self-coup, a coup d’état executed by the one in power at the time.

So why did they not stop it? Well, they gave an argument that this change had in effect already been made, why this was not new. The creeping changes of the constitution that had been made in 1994 and 2002 had, according to them, already foreseen that more would come. At what point does it become a coup d’état? That is the question. Some say that the decision to pass this law was in fact a coup d’état in Sweden. It would be interesting to have this tried before the Supreme Court, to see if they agree.

Of course, given that this very questionable creeping change had been made in Sweden, how could the Swedish government then with a straight face say that Zelaya was not allowed to do the same thing? In fact, Sweden supported civil organizations in Honduras, and may even have encouraged this creeping change, I don’t know. All I know is that the judicial system in Honduras acted correctly in stopping it at the doorstep.