HONDURAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION THROWS COUNTRY INTO CRISIS.The Honduran Tribunal Supremo su·pre·mo
n. pl. su·pre·mos Chiefly British
One who is highest in authority or command, as of an organization.
[Spanish and Italian, supreme, supremo, from Latin Electoral (TSE See Tokyo Stock Exchange.
1. See Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE).
2. See Toronto Stock Exchange (TSE). ) has called the Nov. 27 presidential elections for Manuel "Mel" Zelaya of the opposition Partido Liberal The Partido Liberal could be the
Called the dirtiest race in memory, the negative campaign was driven by the fact that the candidates were not very far apart on most issues. Where they did differ was on the return of the death penalty. Lobo was for it, Zelaya against. The death penalty issue was seen as a referendum on the Mano ma·no
n. pl. ma·nos
A hand-held stone or roller for grinding corn or other grains on a metate.
[Spanish, hand, mano, from Latin manus, hand; see manner.] Dura policy of President Ricardo Maduro Ricardo Rodolfo Maduro Joest (born April 20, 1946 in Panama) is a former President of Honduras and Bank of Honduras chairman. Maduro graduated from the Lawrenceville School and later Stanford University. against the US-bred gangs menacing the country of late (see NotiCen, 2004-05-20). That policy saw alleged gang members given long jail sentences on the flimsiest of charges. Both major candidates campaigned against the gangs, but Zelaya called for firm law enforcement within a context that sought to identify and change the social causes of the international gang phenomenon.
Spiraling violence made the gang issue the central theme of the election, and Lobo took full credit for spearheading the Maduro government's severe policies against them. Many analysts said Lobo's vehemence, amounting to an extermination extermination
mass killing of animals or other pests. Implies complete destruction of the species or other group. campaign, boomeranged and cost him crucial votes. The commentators said too many people were reminded of the worst dictatorship in Honduras' history, that of the PN's Tuburcio Carias (1932-1949).
Zelaya went into full presidential mode immediately after the TSE called the race, but neither Lobo nor President Ricardo Maduro accepted the result, which amounted to little more than an opinion on the part of TSE president Aristides Mejia. Mejia declared Zelaya the winner at about 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 27, but by noon on Nov. 29, official results had still not appeared on the TSE official Web site as promised.
Maduro remained adamant, declaring on Nov. 28 that, absent hard numbers, there was "still no winning candidate." He told reporters, "I want to emphasize and remind people that the official result, the official declaration of the elections at any level, be it of council members, deputies, mayors, or president of the Republic, is only made by the TSE." Maduro acknowledged that previous elections had taken days to reach a final result. What he was objecting to, and what he found unacceptable, was the closed nature of the count and the total lack of preliminary results, which he said was unprecedented in the last 25 years of democracy.
Irate though he was, Maduro was careful to reassure the public that there was no crisis and that at some point there would be an official winner. But the public was not reassured to learn from him that "we don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. what happened in the Tribunal Supremo Electoral." He speculated on the possibility of dissent among the members and urged them to publish some data, any data they had.
The early call was thrown further into doubt the evening of Nov. 28, when TSE representative Jacobo Hernandez of the PN called Mejia's declaration "absurd." Mejia is a member of the PL and had urged that Lobo Sosa "should admit that there is a winner, and that winner is President-elect Manuel Zelaya José Manuel Zelaya Rosales, also known as Mel Zelaya, (born September 20, 1952) is the President of Honduras and has been since January 27 2006. On November 27, 2005, as the Liberal Party of Honduras (PLH) candidate he beat the National Party of Honduras (PNH's) Porfirio ."
By Nov. 29, at least one national newspaper was declaring the country on the verge On the Verge (or The Geography of Yearning) is a play written by Eric Overmyer. It makes extensive use of esoteric language and pop culture references from the late nineteenth century to 1955. of a "political and electoral crisis," and some media were reporting Lobo the winner.
Also by that date, Comisionado de Derechos Humanos Ramon Custodio Lopez entered the fray, accusing the TSE of negligence. He did not threaten legal action, but his statement brought a response from Mejia. The TSE president denied failure on the part of his institution and instead blamed a breakdown of the "mechanism." He said that holdups occurred when, for instance, "the teachers [polling officials] assembled, the Ministry of Education presented activist teachers of one party-the PN--so this mechanism had to be discarded and at the last minute others had to be found who had never served [as officials.]"
Other TSE officials offered other excuses. TSE director Carlos Humberto Romero General Carlos Humberto Romero Mena (b. February 29, 1924 in Chalatenango) was the President of El Salvador from 1977 until 1979, when he was overthrown in a reformist coup d'état by dissident military officers and civilians. said, "In some voting centers officials were not allowed access to the data and were not allowed to leave with the information when it was available."
The excuses fell on deaf ears around the country. In Tegucigalpa, more than 3,000 angry PN activists protested in the streets against the TSE with placards reading "Justice" and "We Demand a Vote Count." In El Paraiso, 100 km east of the capital, a local PL official, Miguel Adrian Mejia, was shot to death in an interparty altercation regarding the delay. PN sympathizers accused the PL of a plot to steal the election.
Maduro went into session with Organization of American States Organization of American States (OAS), international organization, created Apr. 30, 1948, at Bogotá, Colombia, by agreement of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, (OAS OAS
See: Option adjusted spread ) Ambassador Frank Almaguer Frank Almaguer (born 1945) is a United States diplomat.
Frank Almaguer was born in 1945. He has served numerous in positions with the Peace Corps, USAID, and the United States State Dept. and with the candidates. "I met with them to make a call for sanity, patience, and I have asked the party leaders that they, too, collect their vote tallies and start to count so that they can start to transmit official results, more than just surveys," he said. This seemed to be backtracking (algorithm) backtracking - A scheme for solving a series of sub-problems each of which may have multiple possible solutions and where the solution chosen for one sub-problem may affect the possible solutions of later sub-problems. from his previous statements, opening the door to resolution by means other than an official result.
Mejia was reportedly hoping for a concession on someone's part, but Lobo had shown no indication of giving up, and Zelaya was already acting presidential. His Nov. 29 schedule called for, among other things, a trip to El Salvador El Salvador (ĕl sälväthōr`), officially Republic of El Salvador, republic (2005 est. pop. 6,705,000), 8,260 sq mi (21,393 sq km), Central America. to meet with President Antonio Saca Elías Antonio ("Tony") Saca González (born in Usulutan, 9 March 1965) is a Salvadoran politician and the current President of El Salvador. He was elected President in 2004. He was elected to serve a 5-year term that ends in 2009. .
As further evidence of backtracking, or capitulation CAPITULATION, war. The treaty which determines the conditions under which a fortified place is abandoned to the commanding officer of the army which besieges it.
2. , Maduro said he had ready all the necessary transition documentation, whereas he had only hours before said there could be no question of transition activity until after the election was certified. The situation was deteriorating along with Maduro's position.
Zelaya called for Maduro to step down, insinuating in·sin·u·at·ing
1. Provoking gradual doubt or suspicion; suggestive: insinuating remarks.
2. Artfully contrived to gain favor or confidence; ingratiating. that the president was leading the country toward further violence. "The refusal of Maduro to admit the defeat of his party is of great danger to the country, and therefore I'm not responsible for what happens to our democratic system if Maduro continues in this position," said Zelaya. He said Maduro was "playing with fire" by showing disrespect for the popular will. He concluded, "Maduro has already done sufficient damage to this country and should retire from the presidency and go home."
The word "disaster" had begun to creep into media reporting. The word "crisis" had been legitimized as OAS observers announced late Nov. 29, after the TSE had failed to meet a self-imposed noon deadline in releasing results, that their election observers would remain in the country until the crisis was resolved. The head of the delegation, Venezuelan Moises Benamor, said his 114 observers would remain "until the process ends." He criticized the TSE for the delay. Maduro did not immediately reply.
Vice presidency the office of vice president.
See also: Vice resurrected
Meanwhile, for the first time since 1980, Hondurans also voted for a vice president. The title had been eliminated to avoid presidential coups. Both parties chose heavy hitters from the business class. The thinking was that, whoever won, a second in command from the business class would attract foreign investment. The choices on both sides would serve the sector they represent. "Their loyalties are economic, not political," said political analyst Daniel Perez Funes.
The choices made representatives of the minor parties, those with no hope of electing a president, nervous at the prospect of adding political power to the already formidable power of the private sector. Said lawyer Olvin Rodriguez of the Partido Democratico Cristiano (PDC (1) (Primary Domain Controller) A Windows NT/2000 service that manages security for its local domain. Every domain has one PDC, which contains a database of usernames, passwords and permissions. ), "Congress has divided itself into two large sectors, although one sector leans toward the PL and the other leans toward the Nationalists, what they are all fighting for are privileges and contracts that are sold afterwards. That is to say, they make politics an investment. Thus, both sectors get their needs met no matter who wins."
In the past, the private sector did not get directly involved in Honduran politics. Rather they supported friends in the military or in politics to achieve political influence. More recently, however, they have taken to sending their children to study abroad, and it is this generation that has entered the political arena, rising rapidly with the help of family fortunes.
Zelaya's running mate running mate
1. The candidate or nominee for the lesser of two closely associated political offices.
2. A companion.
3. A horse used to set the pace in a race for another horse. , Elvin Ernesto Santos Elvin Ernesto Santos Ordóñez (b. Tegucigalpa, 18 January 1963) is, since 27 January 2006, the vice president of Honduras.
Lobo Sosa's running mate is no less a business star. Mario Miguel Canahuati studied industrial engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology Georgia Institute of Technology, in Atlanta, Ga.; coeducational; state supported; chartered 1885, opened 1888. It is a member school in the university system of Georgia. Significant among its facilities and programs are the Frank H. and clothing manufacturing in Italy. He was executive director of the Lovalbe Group and director of Creations Vantage, SA de CV. He currently manages several clothing-manufacturing and marketing companies and was president of the Camara de Comercio y Industrias de Cortes. He has, until this campaign, been Honduras' ambassador to the US, chosen by Maduro.
Canahuati has been accused of causing an embarrassing diplomatic situation for Honduras by convincing Maduro to present a US-sponsored petition against Cuba for that country's state of human rights. The country was roundly criticized for kowtowing to US interests. Canahuati is a member of one of the most powerful families in Honduras.
In the end, it was the business sector that was assured of its results in the elections first. It was only the presidential candidates, the 128 congressional candidates, the 128 congressional alternates, the 298 mayoral candidates, the 298 vice mayoral candidates, and the 2,000 council members who had to await the official results. [Sources: BBC BBC
in full British Broadcasting Corp.
Publicly financed broadcasting system in Britain. A private company at its founding in 1922, it was replaced by a public corporation under royal charter in 1927. News, 11/22/05; Central America Report, 11/25/05; Cronica (Mexico), Reuters, 11/27/05; La Tribuna (Honduras), El Heraldo (Honduras), 11/28/05; Associated Press, La Prensa (Honduras), 11/28-30/05]