I love it when some Leftie, who doesn't have the balls to use their moniker writes something to me that is beyond stupid. This from Anon's comment from the proceeding post.
Which brings us back to Honduras. As Brodi Kemp, a researcher at Harvard's Safra Foundation Center for Ethics, says: "You could argue that Zelaya gave up his claim to moral legitimacy when he went outside the constitution. If you accept that, then what do the other political actors do then? ... Sometimes an act is legitimate even though it proceeded illegitimately."
So what this Kemp, who I doubt would recognize an ethic if it bit him on the butt, is saying is that the rule of law works only as long as the President/Ruler of any country feels he is the best person for the job. That obviously includes Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, Castro, Dinnerjacker of Iran, Saddam, N. Korea's nut case and our own Dear Leader, Obamie the Mouse.
It gets even better.
President Obama was correct in calling Zelaya's ouster illegal, while Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton declined to call the action a coup - in hopes of bringing Zelaya back into government but with wings clipped. In this instance, the U.S. government played the morally right hand
May I assume from this that you supported the invasion of Iraq and the removal of Saddam on moral grounds? And do I hear you calling for an invasion of Iran? North Korea?
What utter nonsense you blather. I mean really. You have reached a pinacle of stupidity rarely seen, even on the Internet.
Here Anon, try reading the following detailed explaination of what is going on. Be sure to go to the source (linked) for more details.
Somewhere along the way, Mel decided to take a lesson from his mentor (Chavez) and arrange it so that he could remain in power for as long as he wanted. There was a little problem with this. The Honduran constitution, enacted in 1982, has 378 articles. 6 of these articles are “cast in stone”, meaning that they can NOT be changed. These 6 articles deal with defining the type of government, territory claims, and presidential term limits. They are the basis of the Honduran democracy.
One other tidbit from the constitution – Article 42, Section 5 says that anyone who is found to “incite, promote, or aid in the continuation or re-election of the President” would face loss of citizenship. Remember this one later on in this saga.
To further complicate things for Zelaya, ANY changes to the constitution have to be initiated by the legislative branch. The congress has to convene a constituent assembly. That’s basically a group of people selected by the congress to analyze any proposed changes and form those ideas into the new constitution. After the proposed changes are formulated, the congress would approve them to be put to a national referendum. The executive branch (the President) has nothing to do with that process.
Mel didn’t think that the congress would go along with his ideas of staying in power so he decided he’d call his own referendum. He doesn’t have the authority to do that – remember that constitutional changes can only be done by the legislature AND the term limits are one of the articles cast in stone – but he goes ahead and calls one anyway.
The Honduran Supreme Court says “Sorry Mel, you can’t do a referendum. That’s not within your power as president”.
Anon, what do you think should happen when the President itgnores a SC ruling?
Mel, or more probably one of his advisors, figures out that if a referendum can’t be done, we could probably do a survey or a poll instead! Great idea – nobody will figure out that the poll that we’re now going to do is exactly the same thing as we were going to do with the referendum.
Damn those people on the Supreme Court! They figured out the ruse! They ruled unanimously that regardless of what you call it, if it acts like a referendum the president can’t do it. If it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck . . . .
Mel continues to talk of doing the poll on June 28 regardless of the Supreme Court
The Congress looks at the poll that Mel wants to do and gives an opinion that the poll would be illegal and they will not support it. Remember that Mel’s own political party is in control of the congress.
The Attorney General also analyzes the poll and determines that it is illegal. Over the course of the weeks leading to June 28, the AG reiterates many times that the poll is illegal and anyone participating in the poll would be committing a crime and could be arrested.
Mel runs into another logistical snafu. He needs some ballots printed. The entire political structure of Honduras (except him) has ruled that the poll is illegal. It’s a pretty sure bet that he can’t get the government to print the ballots for an illegal referendum so he asks his buddy Hugo Chavez to print the ballots. Of course Hugo says “No Problem Comrade!”
The rhetoric in the 2 weeks before the “poll” gets tense. Every legal opinion in Honduras says that the poll is illegal. The Supreme Court reaffirms its ruling that the poll is illegal. The Attorney General keeps saying that the poll is illegal and that anyone participating is committing a crime. Mel’s own political party says that the poll is illegal. There literally is not one legitimate group in the country that is siding with Mel about the poll.
Traditionally the military handles the distribution of the ballots and voting materials. The head of the military, Romeo Vasquez Velasquez says that the military will not participate in the poll because the Supreme Court is the entity that determines what is legal and what is illegal in Honduras. The Supreme Court has determined that the poll is illegal, so the military will not participate.
Mel Zelaya promptly fired Romeo Vasquez. The other heads of military (Navy and Air Force) as well as the Minister of Defense resigned in support of Vasquez.
The next day the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Vasquez was fired without reason and demanded his reinstatement. Zelaya refused.
The ballots arrive in Honduras (from Venezuela on a Venezuelan flagged plane). The Attorney General demands that the ballots be confiscated and held at a military installation.
Mel decides that if the military won’t distribute the ballots, he’ll get his own people to distribute them
Mel gets a couple of busses and a few cars full of supporters. They drive to the Air Force installation that was holding the ballots. They forcibly entered the installation and took the ballots. Not only was this “breaking and entering” it was a complete betrayal of a lawful order of the Attorney General
The Attorney General says that the President has committed treason and asks for him to be removed from office. The congress created a commission to examine Zelaya’s actions and determine if removal from office is appropriate.
A side note here about removal from office. I’m in no way a Honduran constitutional expert, but from what I understand, there’s not a clear means to impeach a sitting president. In a lot of constitutions, the impeachment of a president would be done by the legislative branch. In Honduras, there’s no such structure. There could be criminal charges brought against the president and the trial would be handled by the judicial branch. Not much different than anyone else accused of a crime. I’ve not heard of any provision to temporarily remove a president from office until the criminal charges were adjudicated. What would you do? Let a man accused of treason remain as the sitting president until the trial was completed? That would be insane, but that may be the only choice.
On Saturday, June 27, Mel got most, if not all, of the ballots distributed around the country. The polls were set to open at 7am on Sunday.
The Supreme Court voted to remove Zelaya. The Congress decided to remove Zelaya. The Attorney General stated many times that Zelaya was committing illegal acts and in fact committing treason. The military determined that the poll was illegal and that their responsibility was to uphold the constitution as opposed to supporting the president. Early Sunday morning, about 6am, the military went to the president’s house and removed him from the building. He was put on a plane to Costa Rica. This was done to enforce the ruling from the Supreme Court.
This is where Article 42 of the constitution comes into play. The way that I read that article, Zelaya should have lost his Honduran citizenship at this point.
Once Mel had been removed, the President of the Congress (Roberto Micheletti) was sworn in as the new President of Honduras. This was exactly the person that is indicated by the constitution. It was a proper and legal succession of the presidency. The first thing that Micheletti did was confirm that the regularly scheduled elections would be held in November. His post is temporary until the new President was duly elected.
Hat tip to Urgent Agenda.