Crisis in Honduras: Five moments to understand the current political division
The first woman president in history in the Central American country will assume her position on Jan. 27 amid a political crisis in the country's Congress.
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At the gates of the inauguration of Xiomara Castro, the first woman president of Honduras, the power disputes within her party mean that the forecasts for the beginning of her administration are not the most encouraging.
The tension isn't even coming from the expected opposition, but from within the same coalition that helped Castro win the election last year.
De acuerdo, lo más importante en este momento es la estabilidad de Honduras y apoyar el sistema democrático. https://t.co/tG3PYAiVdk— Xiomara Castro de Zelaya (@XiomaraCastroZ) January 25, 2022
The control of the National Congress is the cause of the confrontation between two boards of directors that dispute the legality of their power and leave the nation amid a new political crisis, which will mark the beginning of the Castro government.
- The lack of consensus within the Partido Libertad y Refundación - Libre - led to an altercation that has not resolved in a civil manner. Physical attacks in Congress, as well as protests in the streets of Tegucigalpa, marked the beginning of a division in the government coalition that sets a negative precedent for the return of the left to power in Honduras.
- With the election of a provisional Board of Directors, which did not have the support of the elected president, the deputies of Libre ignored a pre-existing pact between Castro and the Salvador Party of Honduras (PSH). As president of the Congress, Jorge Cálix, a member of the ruling party, was elected on Sunday, Jan. 23. For its part, the other faction of the Libre, joined with representatives of the PSH and formed another Board chaired by Luis Redondo, a member of the latter.
- Despite Castro's recent presidential victory, her party only won 50 spots, which, added to the 10 reached by the PSH, are not enough to give her a majority and be able to enforce the pact between the two groups. The pre-electoral agreement between Libre and the PSH had the objective of guaranteeing the director of this party, Salvador Nasralla, the title of Vice President of Honduras and the power to elect the director of Congress in case he did not stand in the presidential elections. Feeling that they were not taken into account in this agreement, several members of Libre publicly expressed their discontent and preferred not to attend a meeting called by the president before the vote in Congress.
- There are 20 deputies from the government party who joined 44 from the National Party, adding minorities, to support the Board of Directors headed by Cálix. In view of this, the president and the directors of the Libre decided to expel 18 of the 20 legislators, after only two of them decided to withdraw. Castro described the congressmen as traitors and accused them of selling out to the party that has governed the country with corruption for the last 12 years. Likewise, she assured that she would be sworn in, which will take place on Jan. 27 in front of a judge and not Cálix. She also invited Redondo.
- The crisis continues to escalate and threatens the institutions in Honduras, especially due to the minority the president maintains. Deputy Redondo took office in the official building, while Cálix and his group of opponents did so through a video call.
Reconozco la Presidencia del Congreso encabezada por el Diputado Luis Redondo, le invito a mi Juramentación junto al Pueblo el 27 de enero. Felicito a diputadas(o) que rechazan 12 años de redes de corrupción de “Joh”: camino a saludarles en el CN ¡Ganamos!.— Xiomara Castro de Zelaya (@XiomaraCastroZ) January 23, 2022
Redondo was accompanied by alternate deputies and substitutes for those expelled, while at least 70, of the 128 available, virtually joined Cálix.
Those who support Cálix do so by arguing that the Congress should be led by Libre, ensuring that the new Parliament should have no interference or impositions that prevent the legislative agenda from being fulfilled. In turn, those who are on Redondo's side consider respecting the pact with the PSH ensures the governability of the country.
This is what Redondo shared the publication of La Gaceta (official document of the Congress), in which he was ratified as president of the National Congress.