November 8, 2009

Mel Zelaya did propose reelection

Article 239 of the Honduran constitution states that the President can only serve one term and that anyone who proposes to reform this disposition, directly or indirectly, immediately ceases in his position and is ineligible for any public function for 10 years.

A favorite defense of pro-Zelaya forces is to say that Zelaya never proposed reelection. Well, yes, he did.

In this video, which I believe was from sometime the week before June 28, you will hear Mel Zelaya complains that congressmen, judges, and others can be reelected and the only one who can't be reelected is the president but "reelection will be the theme of the next constitutional assembly".


Update: Reader Allen provided a complete translation of the video:

[Zelaya speaking] "Here, judges are re-elected, fiscal officers are re-elected, mayors are re-elected, congressmen are re-elected, the − the commissioners on human rights are re-elected. The only one who is not re-elected in Honduras − the only one who is not re-elected in Honduras − is the President [points with both hands to himself in the video].

"But re-election is [a/the] topic of the next National Constitutional Assembly." [Cheers from the crowd.]

"There will be an opportunity − [turning to the person next to him, apparently someone related to a previous president] − leader, there will be an opportunity for your ex-father-in-law to return.

[Everyone laughs − someone in the crowd shouts "That guy won't return" and others in the crowd boo "Nooo."].

"Because we will open the opportunity for him in the next National Constitutional Assembly.

"Callejas − will come back, correct. [More boos of "no, no"] And I already told him that if − no, I already told him, 'Look, Rafael Leonardo, if we make it to the World Cup, I'll think about my vote, but you have to take our Honduran team to the World Cup.' But if he doesn't take us to the World Cup, then he can't complain to me. You understand?" [Callejas is a former president, currently president of the National Autonomous of Soccer of Honduras.]


[Allen continues...] So, he talks about re-election of the President, and specifically mentions at least one former president coming back, just to make it sound fair, to make it sound like he's being altruistic by proposing such a thing, to make it sound like he's not in it for himself. Of course he plays to the crowd by bringing up presidents he knows they hate, so they all know he's really talking about opening up the possibility for himself.

In the face of this, anyone want to dare say Zelaya never proposed, discussed, incited or intended to change the Constitutional rules about presidential re-election?

Thank you for providing the translation, Allen.

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