Country report. Nicaragua, Honduras 1998, 1: “On January 27th Mr Flores took over the presidency from Carlos Roberto Reina, also of the PL” (page 36).
Country report. Nicaragua, Honduras 1998, 2: “In May congress approved the Ley Orgánica de la Policía Nacional…which merges the Fuerza de Seguridad Pública…with the Dirección de Investigación Criminal…to form the new Policía Nacional…under a new Ministry of Security” (page 31).
Cuotas de participación política de las mujeres 2004: “Es durante el Gobierno del Ing. Carlos Flores Facussé, que se transforma la Oficina Gubernamental de la Mujer, creándose el Instituto Nacional de la Mujer (INAM), bajo Decreto No. 232-98” (page 14).
Villars 2004a: “(M)ediante Decreto No. 232-98 del 29 de agosto de 1998, este Congreso Nacional creó el Instituto Nacional de la Mujer” (page 275).
Boussard 2005: Flores Facussé “reached an agreement with the chief of the armed forces, Hung Pacheco, on a constitutional reform, which placed the armed forces under civilian control for the first time since 1957. The Congress voted for the constitutional reform in September 1998 and January 1999” (page 171).
Country profile. Nicaragua, Honduras 1999-2000: “In late October 1998 Hurricane Mitch devastated the tourist resort of the Bay Islands off the north coast of Honduras, before veering south on to the Central American mainland. In Honduras one week of extremely heavy rainfall brought severe flooding and mudslides, killing about 7,000 people; over 200,000 homes were destroyed, making 1.5m people homeless” (page 51).
Fúnes Valladares 2004: En 1999, “el Foro de Mujeres Políticas y algunas organizaciones de mujeres formulan una propuesta de reforma de la Ley Electoral, para asegurar una real representatividad de las mujeres en los partidos políticos” (page 211).
NotiCen February 11, 1999: “Culminating a long demilitarization process, the National Assembly gave final ratification to a measure ending the autonomy of the Honduran Armed Forces. With a new civilian defense minister in place, the era of the military’s constitutional intrusion into Honduran political life appears to have ended...Also forming part of the military’s transformation is an Assembly decision to authorize the Armed Forces to work in nonmilitary tasks such as literacy campaigns, environmental and health programs, and in narcotics control” (page 4).
Bowman 1999: “(T)he association of the [National] party with the military has become a major electoral liability. This liability created incentives for party leaders to pressure a divided caucus to support President Flores’s recent historic constitutional reforms, which were approved in the National Assembly by a vote of 128-0 on 26 January 1999. The reforms are designed to end 42 years of military autonomy. The president is now commander in chief of the armed forces. Civilians have oversight over armed forces budgets...Following the Costa Rican example, all security forces are placed under the authority of the National Electoral Tribunal during the last month of national electoral campaigns" (pages 11-12). “(T)he 27 January 1999 ceremonial passing of the staff of command from Armed Forces Chief Mario Hung Pacheco to President Carlos Roberto Flores Facussé highlights a dramatic decline in military autonomy in Honduras” (page 9).
Country report. Nicaragua, Honduras 1999, 1: “Mr Flores dismantled the military power structure in January, which comprised the military parliament and the post of armed forces commander-in-chief…He will now begin to reap the political benefits of holding a unified line of command for the security forces and the armed forces, and of the weakening of these institutions as a political force” (page 28).
Villars 2004a: Reproduces “Decreto No. 232-98” published in La Gaceta on February 11, 1999 which establishes the Instituto Nacional de la Mujer (pages 249-261).
NotiCen February 8, 2001: “In August 1999, [Ramón] Custodio…formed the Pueblo Unido movement” (LADB).
Fúnes Valladares 2004: “(E)l 17 de marzo,…en ausencia de las diputadas mujeres, que asistían a un encuentro latinoamericano de parlamentarias, el diputado liberal Guillermo Izaguirre Owen mocionó para modificar la participación igualitaria de las mujeres a cargo de elección popular, planteando que no era posible otorgarles 50% de los cargos de elección popular vía decreto, pues debían ganarlo con capacidad y trabajo. Pese al alboroto que despertó la moción y a las condiciones vergonzosas bajo las cuales se dio, el nuevo porcentaje propuesto se mantuvo en firme…El 9 de marzo había iniciado [el Congreso Nacional] un único debate, entre cuyo articulado los diputados aprobaron originalmente una cuota de 50%” (page 205).
Country report. Nicaragua, Honduras June 2000: “In April 2000 Congress passed a bill on gender equality, which includes a provision that will force political parties to allocate a minimum of 30% of candidacies to women. The bill had originally intended to allocate 50% of all public-sector jobs to women, but was subsequently amended…In April 2000 a member of the opposition Partido Nacional (PN), Ricardo Maduro, formally registered his movement, Arriba Honduras, with the [TNE]” (page 32).
Cuotas de participación política de las mujeres 2004: “(S)e crea la Ley de Igualdad de Oportunidades para la Mujer bajo Decreto No. 34-2000” (page 14).
Fúnes Valladares 2004: “Después de veinte años de su aprobación y 18 de su ratificación, el Congreso Nacional aprobó la Ley de Igualdad de Oportunidades para la Mujer, el 11 de abril de 2000, dando lugar al polémico articulo 81, que establece una base progresiva de 30%, para lograr la participación efectiva de la mujer, en lo relativo a: ‘…los cargos de dirección de los partidos políticos, diputados propietarios y suplentes al Congreso Nacional, al Parlamento Centroamericano, Alcaldes y Alcaldesas, Vice-Alcaldes y Regidores en posición elegibles de conformidad con una escala basada en los resultados de tres elecciones precedentes…(L)a ley expresa que esta disposición no se aplicará en aquellos departamentos donde la representación recaiga en un solo diputado o ‘donde no se ha expresado voluntad y participación’” (pages 202-203). “Cronología para la aprobación de la LIOM” (pages 209-215).
Taylor-Robinson 2007: “The Equality of Opportunity Law (2000) requires that at least 30% of each party’s candidates should be women. However, the law lacks teeth” (page 521).
Villars 2004a: Reproduces the text of the Ley de Igualdad de Oportunidades para la Mujer (pages 275-295).
NotiCen November 9, 2000: “Honduras has been thrown into a political crisis regarding the eligibility of a popular candidate of the opposition Partido Nacional (PN). The crisis stems from an attempt by the governing Partido Liberal (PL) to block Ricardo Maduro of the PN from running in the presidential elections next year…In September, Liberals claimed Maduro was ineligible to run because he did not meet the constitutional requirement that a president must be Honduran by birth” (LADB).
Country report. Nicaragua, Honduras June 2000: “The political scene has been dominated by a dispute that broke out in October between the two main parties over the eligibility of their presidential candidates to stand in the November 2001 elections on account of doubts about their nationalities. The dispute has sparked a political crisis which threatens to disrupt the forthcoming primary elections” (page 29).
Country report. Nicaragua, Honduras November 2000: “The dispute started in early October when [the PL] complained to the TNE that Mr Maduro was not Honduran by birth…The PN retaliated by filing a complaint that two PL members seeking to become their party’s presidential candidate—Mr Rosenthal and Mr Pineda—were also not Honduran” (page 29).
NotiCen November 9, 2000: “(T)he Tribunal Nacional de Elecciones (TNE) ruled in early October that Maduro’s status would have to be settled before it could allow his participation in the PN nominating process Dec. 3” (LADB). Describes discussion.
Country report. Nicaragua, Honduras November 2000: “In early November the TNE upheld the complaint against Mr Maduro and dismissed that against Mr Rosenthal, further widening the rift between the parties. Mr Maduro’s Arriba Honduras movement started a series of demonstrations and the PN accused the TNE of political bias. Only one of the five members of the TNE has allegiance to the PN. Two of its members are affiliated to the PL and two belong to smaller political parties openly allied to the PL” (page 29).
Country report. Nicaragua, Honduras January 2001: “In an effort to calm what was becoming a major political incident, the president, Carlos Flores Facussé, of the Partido Liberal (PL), convened party leaders in November to form a cross-party committee. The committee appointed an independent foreign jurist to rule on the issue of Mr Maduro’s nationality, and agreed to abide by his decision. However, the TNE…refused to accept the jurist’s ruling that Mr Maduro could stand for the presidency. The TNE’s ruling came only a week before the PN’s presidential primary was due to be held, and sparked unrest in the capital and other cities” (page 30).
NotiCen November 9, 2000: “Various civic organizations and the Catholic Church proposed arbitration through an ad hoc tribunal. On Nov. 3, President Carlos Flores and leaders of the five political parties signed an agreement aimed at ending the crisis [over candidate eligibility]. The agreement (Acuerdo Patriotico) came after the dispute turned to threats of reprisals…The core of the agreement is to have the five party leaders and four ‘notables’ designate a panel of independent jurists to review the Maduro case and issue an opinion on the nationality requirement. All five parties agreed to abide by the opinion” (LADB).
NotiCen February 8, 2001: “A commission, which the parties agreed to set up in a pact (Pacto Patriotico)…was supposed to make the final determination on Maduro’s nationality. But from the start, the commission was doomed to fail” (LADB).
Country report. Nicaragua, Honduras November 2000: “The ruling Partido Liberal (PL) and the opposition Partido Nacional (PN) are due to nominate their presidential, congressional and municipal candidates on December 3rd. The PN has threatened to abandon the electoral process if its leading presidential hopeful, Ricardo Maduro Joest, is not allowed to stand” (page 29).
Country report. Nicaragua, Honduras January 2001: “The PL’s primary elections for municipal, congressional and presidential posts went ahead as scheduled on December 3rd. Mr Pineda, the president of Congress, was the comfortable winner of the PL’s candidacy for the presidency, winning 41% of the vote and defeating Jaime Rosenthal Oliva…who took 32% of the vote…The PN’s primary elections eventually went ahead on December 17th, with Mr Cosenza deputising for Mr Maduro. The elections were won by a landslide by politicians belonging to Mr Maduro’s ‘Arriba Honduras’ movement. Mr Cosenza won a resounding 80% of the vote to become the party’s presidential candidate, and Arriba Honduras also won most of mayoral and congressional candidacies. The notable exception was in the race for the Tegucigalpa mayoral candidacy, which was won by Miguel Pastor of the ‘Nueva Estrella’ movement, with more than 70% of the vote. Mr Pastor, a close ally of a local media tycoon, José Rafael Ferrari, benefited from one of the most intense television advertising campaigns in Honduran electoral history” (page 30).
Latin American regional report. Caribbean & Central America December 5, 2000: “The ruling Liberal party was due to hold internal elections on 3 December, to choose its presidential and congressional candidates for the 2001 elections…The opposition Partido Nacional had hoped to do the same, but a dispute over the nationality of one of the leading contenders, Ricardo Maduro…meant elections had to be put back to 17 December” (latinnews.com).
Una mirada al proceso electoral primario 2005: resultados del sistema de indicadores de seguimiento 2005: El Partido Liberal realiza un proceso electoral interno el 3 de diciembre de 2000 (page 17). El Partido Nacional realiza un proceso electoral interno el 17 de diciembre de 2000 (page 18).
NotiCen February 8, 2001: “As the major political parties choose presidential candidates for the next general election, the electoral process remains in crisis because of attempts by the governing Partido Liberal (PL) to block its most dangerous adversary in the Partido Nacional (PN) from entering the race. In its Dec. 3 internal party primary, the PL elected Rafael Pineda Ponce as its presidential candidate for the November 2001 elections…The Tribunal Nacional de Elecciones (TNE) announced that Pineda won 40.3% of the vote, beating out six other candidates. The victory automatically makes him head of the PL. The opposition PN held its internal vote late because of the crisis brought on by the governing party’s claim that the PN’s leading candidate, Ricardo Maduro, was ineligible to run for the presidency…While the Liberal-dominated TNE refuses to settle the Maduro matter, it has made no effort to verify the nationality of Pineda, who the PN says was born in Guatemala…The commission…issued its report Dec. 1, proclaiming that Maduro was a Honduran citizen and constitutionally qualified to take part in the election. The TNE should proceed with his registration, said the report…But Pineda said the report had no constitutional or legal standing…[President] Reina and [TNE president] Quesada expressed similar views. The TNE ignored the report and maintained its refusal to register Maduro…On Dec. 8, Maduro said he was pulling out of the race. He was replaced by Luis Cosenza, an ally in the Arriba Honduras faction, who promised to renounce his candidacy in favor of Maduro at the proper time…(T)he PN proceeded with its party primary Dec. 17. Cosenza won with 75% of the 800,000 votes” (LADB).
NotiCen December 15, 2005: “The [Movimiento Esperanza Liberal] came together for the elections of 2000 and fared badly. [Manuel] Zelaya was significantly outgunned in that election by Rafael Pineda Ponce and Jaime Rosenthal of the PL” (LADB).
Taylor-Robinson 2003: “The two major parties, the Liberal (PLH) and National (PNH) parties, selected their presidential candidate through closed primaries, held, respectively, on December 3 and 17, 2000. The Liberal Party primary had seven contenders (known as pre-candidates), and the National Party had four” (page 553).
Boussard 2005: “After six presidential and parliamentary elections, the electoral process is still marred by undemocratic features. It is not a question of openly fraudulent elections, but the electoral process and the electoral institutions are impaired by certain elements that undermine transparency. Foro Ciudadano, one of the most vociferous civil society actors, acknowledged these flaws a couple of weeks before the elections in 2001…One example of the imperfections of the electoral process is that the names of the candidates for the Congress are not presented until a few days before the election, and voters, consequently, have no possibility to form an opinion of the candidates…A related problem concerns the candidates who are elected in the internal elections, but are replaced at the last minute by somebody else who has been picked by the leaders of the party or even the President himself” (page 225).
Castellanos 2001: “La agenda electoral de los últimos meses ha tenido dos grandes intereses: la integración de la nueva directiva en el Tribunal Nacional de Elecciones y el voto de los hondureños en el extranjero” (page 57). Gives details on both issues.
Honduras: sistema político, crisis y reformas 2003: “El Foro para el Fortalecimiento a la Democracia (FFD) surge en el año 2001…(E)stá integrado por organizaciones de la sociedad civil y por los partidos políticos” (page 51).
NotiCen February 8, 2001: “The PDCH, the [PINU], and the [UD] will also participate in the November elections. These smaller parties do not have primaries because they have no factions disputing the nomination” (LADB).
Robleda Castro 2001: “En abierta violación a la Constitución de la República y a la Ley Electoral y de las Organizaciones Políticas [el gobierno de Carlos Flores Facussé] le niega a UD su representación en el Tribunal Nacional de Elecciones, la respectiva deuda política y su participación en el Registro Nacional de las Personas. El pretexto que utiliza para esa negativa es que UD tiene un problema interno” (page 66).
Somoza 2005: “Regulations for external voting had already been laid down in the 1981 Electoral Law, but were only put into practice in 2001” (page 402).
Country report. Nicaragua, Honduras April 2001: “The dispute over the eligibility of the opposition Partido Nacional (PN) presidential hopeful, Ricardo Maduro, to stand for the presidency in the elections November 25th 2001…was settled in February, when the [TNE] reversed its previous ruling and in a 4-1 decision voted to allow him to stand. The reversal followed a decision by Rafael Pineda Ponce, the president of Congress and the presidential candidate of the ruling Partido Liberal (PL), to instruct the PL representatives in the TNE to vote in favour of Mr Maduro” (page 36).
Country report. Nicaragua, Honduras April 2001: “Immediately after the party conference Mr Maduro visited the US to lobby on behalf of the 100,000 Hondurans benefiting from temporary residency status in the US, whose residency permits expire on July 5th. Votes from these and other Hondurans in the US will be important in November’s elections” (pages 37-38).
NotiCen February 8, 2001: “(A)t the [PN] party convention Feb. 3, 128 party leaders unanimously selected Maduro after Cosenza stepped aside and put the presidential nomination in the hands of the convention. In this complicated maneuver, Cosenza remains the official PN presidential candidate while the party tries to get Maduro registered with the TNE” (LADB).
Cuotas de participación política de las mujeres 2004: “Estatutos del Partido Liberal de Honduras (reformado y editado en marzo del 2001)” (pages 37-42).
Country report. Honduras July 2001: “The leadership of the TNE was changed on May 25th. Each main political party appoints one member and the CSJ two to make up the seven members. This is designed to keep the structure of the directorship independent, but in practice either the PL or the PN dominates” (page 15). Gives the names of the members.
Exhortación pastoral de la Conferencia Episcopal de Honduras con motivo de las próximas elecciones 2001: Reproduces the text of a document issued August 15, 2001 regarding the November 25, 2001 election.
Elecciones generales 2005: monitoreo y análisis desde la sociedad civil 2006: “No fue sino con la suscripción del ‘Manifiesto de los Partidos Políticos al Pueblo Hondureño’, el 4 de septiembre de 2001 y firmado por los entonces candidatos presidenciales de los cinco partidos, en el que se retoma con mayor voluntad política la iniciativa de reforma integral del sistema político-electoral” (page 18). Gives details on the Manifiesto.
Paz Aguilar 2008: “El 4 de septiembre de 2001, los principales dirigentes de los partidos políticos, incluyendo los cinco candidatos presidenciales, firmaron el Manifiesto de los Partidos Políticos al Pueblo Hondureño. En esa oportunidad, los dirigentes políticos asumieron los compromisos siguientes: a) Separación del Tribunal Supremo Electoral del Registro Nacional de las Personas. b) Incorporación constitucional del plebiscito y el referéndum. c) Supresión de la figura de los designados presidenciales y creación de la figura del vicepresidente. d) Regulación de las campañas electorales. e) Regulación de la financiación de la política. f) Revisión de los mecanismos de elección de diputados” (pages 637-638).
November 25: general election (Maduro / PN)
Allison 2006: “The PUD chose Funes again in 2001, and, as in 1997, he again captured slightly more than 1 percent of the vote. Where the PUD did make inroads was at the congressional level. In these elections, the PUD improved significantly from its performance in 1997, increasing its share of the national vote from 2.3 percent to 4.5 percent. While its vote share nearly doubled, its congressional seats quintupled, making it the third largest party in the congress” (page 151). The April 1993 “electoral reform might help the PUD and other small Honduran parties build on their recent success as Hondurans become more accustomed to the new form of voting. It would appear that this reform paid immediate dividends…The most serious obstacle related to the success of any of the four groups might have been the single ballot in Honduras, which required voters to vote for a single party for all elected positions...This characteristic of the Honduran system strengthened the two major parties and seriously hindered the development of third-party alternatives. Now that the reformed electoral rules are more favorable to new political parties, the PUD and other small political parties might develop into more serious electoral competitors” (pages 155-156).
Chronicle of parliamentary elections 35 2001: For the November 25, 2001 election for the national congress gives the structure of parliament, the electoral system, the background and outcome of the elections, and the results, including the distribution of seats according to sex (pages 76-78).
Country profile. Honduras 2002: “Presidential and congressional elections took place on November 25th 2001. The leading presidential candidates were Ricardo Maduro Joest of the opposition PN and Rafael Pineda Ponce of the ruling PL, the outgoing president of Congress. Mr Maduro won the election, having appealed more to the young and to female voters than Mr Pineda, and may have profited from a feeling that after two terms in opposition it was time to trust the PN again in power. In the absence of major economic policy differences between the two candidates, Mr Maduro focused on security, pledging to adopt a tough line on violent and organised crime” (page 6). “Presidential election result, November 25th 2001” (page 7). “The presidential and congressional ballots took place separately for the first time, and produced slightly different results in party terms, with the minority parties gaining seats from the two large parties. Many voters who favoured Mr Maduro in the presidential race chose to support smaller parties or the PL in the congressional vote. As a result, although the PN has the greatest number of seats in the 2002-06 Congress, it does not enjoy a congressional majority, meaning that consensus-building with the minority parties is important in order to ensure governability” (page 7).
Country report. Honduras July 2001: “The [TNE] has confirmed that the general election will take place on November 25th, and that 3.5m people will be eligible to vote in the elections. Alongside the presidential election, elections will take place for three vice-presidents, 256 members of Congress (of whom 128 are substitutes), 20 members of the Central American parliament, 299 mayors, and other local representatives. For the first time, Hondurans in the US will be eligible to vote in the elections for president and vice-president, in Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, and Washington. Around 100,000 Hondurans in the US are eligible to register to vote, but so far only 3,000 have registered to do so” (page 12).
Country report. Honduras January 2002: Gives results (page 11). “Presidential election results, November 25th 2001” (page 12). “The presidential and congressional ballots took place separately for the first time, and produced slightly different results in party terms, with the minority parties gaining seats from the two large parties. Many voters who favoured Mr Maduro in the presidential race chose to support smaller parties or the PL in the congressional vote…The good performance of the small parties in the congressional ballot reflects the opposition of a significant number of voters to the traditional parties’ congressional lists, which included a number of politicians accused of corruption, family members of party leaders and legislators who appear to have done little to benefit the country…The results of the municipal elections, which were also held on November 25th, broadly reflected those of the congressional elections. The 298 municipalities elected 298 mayors and 1,854 local councillors. The PN made a net gain of 38 mayorships while the PL lost 42 mayorships…The PN also won the important mayorships of Tegucigalpa, the capital, and of San Pedro Sula, Honduras’s business centre” (page 12). “Mayoral election results, Nov 25th 2001” (page 13). “The PL performed best in the local council polls, winning 886 seats, compared with 875 for the PN. Minor parties captured the rest…A reflection of the growing public weariness with political life in Honduras—continued claims of corruption and a popular feeling that the two main parties are as bad as each other—was the high abstention rate. Voter turnout was the second lowest since democracy returned to Honduras, with just under two-thirds of eligible voters participating. Moreover, 18% of total votes were blank or spoiled” (page 13).
Cuotas de participación política de las mujeres 2004: “Se esperaba que en el proceso electoral 2001 del presente Gobierno, en cumplimiento al Art. 81 de la Ley de Igualdad de Oportunidades para la Mujer, se aplicara el Sistema de Cuotas de Participación política de la mujer en puestos de elección popular y en cargos públicos, estableciendo el 30% como base mínima; sin embargo, los resultados en este sentido han sido negativos a saber: De los 128 diputados/as electos/as las mujeres apenas representan en los cargos de elección al Congreso Nacional: el 7% como diputadas propietarias; 16% como diputadas suplentes. Al Parlamento Centroamericano; 15% como diputadas propietarias; 20% como diputadas suplentes; el 9% como Alcaldesas Municipales, 13% como Vice alcaldesas y 9% como regidoras” (pages 74-75).
Democracia y partidos políticos en Honduras 2004: “El proceso electoral del 2001” (pages 93-102). “Resultados electorales para presidente, diputados y corporación municipal. Elecciones generales de Honduras” (page 255).
Elecciones generales 2005: monitoreo y análisis desde la sociedad civil 2006: “En Honduras, a pesar de que en las elecciones de 2001 los partidos Nacional y Liberal controlaron el 95% de los votos a nivel presidencial, por primera vez el partido ganador no obtuvo la mayoría simple en el Congreso: solamente dispuso de 61 de 128 diputados. Los pequeños partidos lograron elegir 12 diputados” (page 11).
Electoral observation, Honduras, 2001: general elections 2003: “The elections were for President of the Republic and three designates to replace him in the event of permanent or temporary absence, 128 members of the National Congress and their alternates, 20 members of the Central American Parliament and their alternates, and 2,446 members of 298 municipal corporations…Five political parties participated [PL, PN, PDC, PINU, PUD]…The electoral rolls listed included 3,437,454 voters, assigned to 11,070 polling stations in 5,303 voting areas throughout the national territory” (page 3). Gives many details on the election.
Fúnes Valladares 2004: “Participación de las mujeres en el proceso electoral del 2001” (page 181). Gives number of women elected in a variety of congressional and municipal positions. “(E)n las elecciones generales practicadas en noviembre de 2001 no hubo un aumento significativo de diputadas, de 27 que lograron llegar en el período anterior el número aumentó a treinta, pero las diputadas propietarias descendieron de doce a nueve” (page 209).
Latin American regional report. Caribbean & Central America October 30, 2001: “About 3.4m Hondurans are eligible to vote. They will be picking a new President, three vice-presidents, 298 mayors, 128 congressmen for the national legislature, and 20 representatives for the Parlamento Centroamericano…Apart from the PL and PN, the elections will be contested by three other parties: Partido Innovacion y Unidad-Social Democrata, Democracia Cristiana and Unificacion Democratica (left-wing)” (latinnews.com).
NotiCen November 29, 2001: “Conservative Honduran businessman Ricardo Maduro, 54, of the opposition [PN], won the Nov. 26 presidential election, defeating governing [PL] candidate Rafael Pineda Ponce, 70. The day after the election, the [TNE] projected Maduro as the winner with 52.9% of the vote to 43.4% for Pineda. Three other minor-party candidates shared the remainder…Because of delayed election returns from remote areas of the country, the TNE will not announce the final results until late December” (LADB).
Proceso electoral 2001: instructivo para el funcionamiento de los tribunales locales de elecciones 2001: “Resultados electorales, elecciones generales de Honduras, año 2001” (appendix). Gives by department and party the votes for president, congress, and mayors.
Proceso electoral 2001: monitoreo desde la sociedad civil 2002: Discusses many aspects of the election.
Somoza 2005: “For the 2001 elections the consulates in the US-American cities of New Orleans, Miami, Washington, New York, and Los Angeles were designated polling stations. These consulates were also responsible for updating the voter registration of Hondurans living within their jurisdiction. This meant that Hondurans living within the jurisdiction of other consulates were not entitled to an external vote” (page 404).
Taylor-Robinson 2003: “On 25 November 2001 elections were held in Honduras to select a new president, three presidential designates (who function as vice-presidents), 128 members of the Congress (‘propietarios’) and 128 substitutes (‘suplentes’), 20 delegates to the Central American Parliament, and 298 municipal councils…Elections were triggered by Article 167 of the Electoral Law requiring that elections are held on the last Sunday of November that precedes the end of the governmental term…The president and presidential designates are elected directly by popular vote, with the winner receiving a simple majority of the votes…Members of the Congress are elected according to proportional rules, based on closed lists presented by the parties in the 18 departments, with district magnitude ranging from one to 23. Although technically the party primaries determine the composition of the party slates, in actuality they result from bargaining among the leaders of party factions…There are no rules requiring that women or minority groups receive a specific proportion of the seats on party lists” (page 553). “One new feature in the 2001 elections was that voters living in the United States were able to cast ballots for the president at the embassy in Washington D.C. and at consulates in Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, and New York. Although the number of foreign votes cast was small (4541), this change was hotly debated in the press. In addition, these elections were only the second time that voters cast separate votes for the presidency and for Congress” (page 554). Describes the candidates and campaign issues (pages 554-555). “Election results” (pages 556-558). “Results of the 2001 Honduran elections” (page 557). Table gives results in each election. “The 2001 election results show that Hondurans have quickly adjusted to the separate votes for the presidency and Congress first used in 1997. The change in voting behavior is most striking in the congressional elections: first, the dramatic increase in support for minor parties; and secondly, the proportion of blank ballots was higher in the congressional than in the presidential or municipal elections” (page 558).
Electoral observation, Honduras, 2001: general elections 2003: “The official results were announced on Friday, December 21. The TNE declared Ricardo Maduro winner of the elections of November 25 and president-elect. The TNE also announced that the president-designates (vice presidents) were Vicente Williams, Armida de López, and Alberto Díaz, and confirmed that 33.73 percent of the electorate had abstained, 5 percent more than in the elections of 1997. It also made the composition of the new Congress official: of the 128 seats, the National Party would have 61 members, four less than a simple majority” (page 53). Gives further details.
Cuotas de participación política de las mujeres 2004: “(E)s en el Gobierno del Lic. Ricardo Maduro…que se crea ‘La Política Nacional de la Mujer/Primer Plan Nacional de Igualdad,’ oficializada como Política de Estado por Decreto Ejecutivo 015-2002…Dicha política contiene, cinco ejes temáticos prioritarios que incluyen ‘la Participación Social y Política’” (page 14).
Política nacional de la mujer: primer plan nacional de igualdad de oportunidades, 2002-2007 2002: “La Política Nacional de la Mujer: Primer Plan Nacional de Igualdad de Oportunidades, fue elaborada a través de un proceso participativo que involucró 36 instituciones gubernamentales y 62 organizaciones de la sociedad civil. También se consultó la opinión de más de 300 mujeres representantes de diversas organizaciones regionales” (pages 8-9). Reproduces the full text of the plan. Chapter five covers “participación social y política” (pages 89-99). “La participación de las mujeres en el Congreso Nacional, no logra rebasar el 8% del total de diputaciones; a nivel municipal, sólo el 9% de las alcadías están siendo conducidas por mujeres” (page 91).
Taylor-Robinson 2003: “In the 2002-2006 Congress only 6.3% of the ‘propietarios’ are women (8 ‘propietarios’ and 21 ‘suplentes’), which is a substantial reduction from the 12 women ‘propietarios’ (and 12 ‘suplentes’) in the 1998-2002 Congress. It is the lowest percentage of women in the Congress since the 1982-1986 term, when only 2.4% of ‘propietarios’ were women” (page 556).
Country profile. Honduras 2002: “Mr Maduro started a four-year term as president on January 27th 2002. His first action on taking over the presidency was to send an additional 4,000 soldiers and internal security officers onto the streets of Honduras’s four largest cities—Tegucigalpa, the northern cities of San Pedro Sula and La Ceiba, and Choluteca in the south—in a crackdown on crime” (page 7).
NotiCen January 31, 2002: “Ricardo Maduro, of the Partido Nacional (PN), took the oath of office as president of Honduras Jan. 27…Maduro became the sixth democratically elected president since the restoration of democracy in 1982 after 20 years of military dictatorship” (LADB).
Sarmiento 2004: Provides biographical information on members of the 2002-2006 congress, including party and districts they represent.
Honduras: sistema político, crisis y reformas 2003: En febrero de 2002, “el Presidente Maduro y los dirigentes de los cinco partidos políticos firmaron la ‘Declaración del Encuentro de Alto Nivel sobre las Reformas Políticas e Institucionales’” (page 55). Gives details.
Honduras: sistema político, crisis y reformas 2003: “El 11 de marzo del 2002 la Comisión Política y la Comisión de Juristas remiten al presidente del Congreso Nacional el documento con el Proyecto de Decreto que contiene las Reformas Constitucionales para incorporar las reformas políticas electorales” (page 58). Gives details.
Country report. Honduras January 2003: “Congress has progressed with a degree of reform, separating the Tribunal Nacional de Elecciones…from the national registry, and changing the number of commissioners on the TNE from five to three. These commissioners will now be appointed by Congress rather than chosen by political parties and Supreme Court judges. Because it is a constitutional reform, the separation needed a two-thirds majority in Congress, but was passed unanimously, reflecting a more positive will to enact reforms to depoliticise the electoral process than has been evident in previous years. The reform will be ratified and put into effect if a two-thirds majority is reached in the legislative session starting in January” (page 13).
Honduras: sistema político, crisis y reformas 2003: “En noviember (11 y 12) del 2002, en las sesiones de la primera legislatura del Congreso Nacional se aprobaron dos de las reformas políticas contenidas en los compromisos preelectorales del cuatro de septiembre del 2001. Dichas reformas fueron la eliminación de la figura de los designados presidenciales y su sustitución por la figura del vicepresidente de la República y la separación del Registro Nacional de las Personas del Tribunal Nacional de Elecciones y la conversión del TNE en un Tribunal Supremo Electoral” (page 93). “De acuerdo a la reforma, el TSE estará integrado por tres magistrados propietarios electos por las dos terceras partes de votos del Congreso Nacional por un período de cinco años, pudiendo ser reelectos” (page 94). “Es importante aclarar que para que estas reformas quedaran en firme y pudieran entrar en vigencia, las mismas debieron ser ratificadas en una segunda legislatura, o sea durante el año 2003” (page 95).
Country profile. Honduras 2004: “In 2003 the government enacted draconian laws to combat gang violence, which enable security forces to round up anyone suspected of being a gang member. The ‘maras’ have been outlawed, and the sentence for founding or leading ‘maras’ has been set at between nine and 12 years. Simply belonging to a ‘mara’ is punishable by four years in prison. Article 90 of the constitution, which in exceptional cases allows security forces to search houses without a warrant, was reintroduced, and the period for which a person can be detained without charge was increased from 24 to 72 hours. The measures have proved popular with the public, but have been criticised by civil rights groups who are concerned that many are being arrested because of association, not because of crimes actually committed” (page 9).
Honduras: sistema político, crisis y reformas 2003: “La Comisión juridica, cuyos integrantes fueron nombrados por los partidos políticos, ha estado trabajando en un nuevo proyecto de Ley Electoral y de las Organizaciones Políticas. Esta Comisión entregó en junio del 2003 la propuesta de proyecto de Ley Electoral a la Comisión política que…fue nombrada también por los partidos políticos” (page 96). Gives details.
Country report. Honduras January 2004: “The president of Congress, Porfirio Lobo Sosa (PN), launched his presidential bid in November, by founding a movement within the PN called Trabajo y Seguridad…Mr Lobo’s decision to start his campaign early is interpreted as a move by the old guard of the PN to gain a march on the likely front-runner of the PN candidates, the mayor of Tegucigalpa, Miguel Pastor Mejía” (page 12).
Country report. Honduras January 2004: “Although presidential, legislative and municipal elections are not due until November 2005, politicking has already started. In order to minimise the disruption that approaching elections generally cause in Honduras, the [TNE] and representatives of the five political parties represented in Congress have agreed that the primaries for all five will be held in March 2005, in effect delaying the start of the electoral period” (page 12).
Central America report November 19, 2004: “The most important reforms are the substitution of the three ‘designated presidential aides’ for a single vice president; holding the preliminary and general elections in the same year; ensuring that the campaign period begins only 50 days before the primaries and 90 days before the general elections; converting the National Tribunal for Elections into the Supreme Electoral Tribunal; introducing mechanisms to monitor campaign finances; and finally, changing the congressional voting system from one in which voters elect deputies by group, to one in which voters choose candidates, whose photos also appear on the ballot, individually” (electronic edition).
Country profile. Honduras 2006: “In 2004 the electoral law was reformed, in an effort to increase transparency. The reform included the reduction of the length of electoral campaigns to 90 days for primaries and 120 days for general elections, and the disclosure of financing sources for campaign contributions of over La300,000 (almost US$16,000)” (page 8).
Democracia y partidos políticos en Honduras 2004: “(A) partir del mes de abril del 2004, entrará en vigencia una nueva Ley Electoral y de las Organizaciones Políticas” (page 15).
Latin American regional report. Caribbean & Central America April 27 2004: “Although it is a further 18 months until presidential elections are held in Honduras, two men have already lined themselves up as the successor for incumbent President Ricardo Maduro. Porfirio Lobo Sosa, the leader of the national congress and Miguel Pastor, the mayor of the capital, Tegucigalpa are both seeking to run on the ticket of the ruling Partido Nacional” (latinnews.com).
Central America report February 18, 2005: “The Electoral and Political Organizations Law, approved in May 2004, established that at least 30% of each party’s members, including deputies, should be women…No party can be punished though, as the clause outlining sanctions for incompliance was eliminated during the law’s final approval” (electronic edition).
Country profile. Honduras 2004: “Concerns that there are not enough resources to deal with the influx of inmates into an already overcrowded prison system…were brought into sharp focus in May 2004 when a fire at a prison in the northern city of San Pedro Sula killed 105 prisoners, all of whom were members of the notorious ‘Mara Salvatrucha.’…This adds to previous claims that the security forces had executed suspected gang members in extrajudical killings” (page 9).
Country report. Honduras July 2004: “At the end of May Congress approved reforms to the electoral laws. These reforms, which seek to increase transparency, would limit the length of electoral campaigns to 90 days for primary and 120 days for general elections. The financing of political campaigns will be subject to new rules, which include the disclosure of financing sources for campaign contributions over La300,000 (US$16,500)…Congress has appointed the three commissioners of the Tribunal Nacional de Elecciones (TNE), the national electoral body, which will supervise and monitor 2005’s general election” (page 13). Gives their names and party affiliations.
Democracia, legislación electoral y sistema político en Honduras 2004: La Ley Electoral fue “aprobado por el pleno legislativo y convertido en Ley de la república el día 15 de mayo del 2004, fecha en que fuera publicado el Decreto 44-2004 en el diario oficial La Gaceta. La aprobación y entrada en vigencia de la nueva Ley Electoral y de las Organizaciones Políticas, o ‘Ley Electoral’ como simplemente se la conoce, significa la introducción de cambios importantes en el funcionamiento del sistema politico-electoral y, de manera especial, en el propio sistema de partidos políticos que actualmente funcionan en Honduras” (page ii). Gives highlights of the law (pages 20-21). “Quizás, el principal fracaso de la reforma estriba en que, en nombre de la despolitización supuesta del proceso electoral, se dio más bien la repartición de los organismos de acreditación, administración y justicia electoral—Registro Nacional de las Personas (RNP) y Tribunal Supremo Electoral (TSE)—entre tres de los cinco partidos legalmente inscritos en el país. De manera que el Partido Liberal, el Partido Nacional y la Democracia Cristiana, valiéndose de que entre los tres superan la mayoría calificada (2/3) en el Congreso Nacional, lograron repartirse entre ellos los cargos de estas entidades, dejando por fuera a los otros dos partidos, al PINU y al PUDH” (page 22).
Orellana Mercado 2004: Discusses the new law.
Salomón 2004: Discusses the new law.
Country report. Honduras October 2004: “In July the PN held its annual conference in the northern industrial town of San Pedro Sula, at which it approved reforms to its constitution to bring it into line with the new electoral law stipulating the length of time that an electoral campaign can last” (page 12).
Country report. Honduras October 2004: “In August the opposition Partido Liberal (PL) informed the TSE that it too had changed its charter in line with the new legislation” (page 12).
Fúnes Valladares 2004: “El Partido Unificación Democrática [reformó sus estatutos] el 22 de agosto del 2004, elevando incluso su cuota a 50%” (page 217).
Fúnes Valladares 2004: “Los partidos restantes aprobaron la cuota de 30%, el 3 de septiembre” (page 217).
Central America report November 19, 2004: “On October 20, the three biggest parties named their candidates for the primary elections, set for 20 February 2005, which will determine who will run for president the following November. The forthcoming elections will be the first test of the new Electoral and Political Organizations Law passed in April this year. On the one hand, civil society is ready and waiting for the new law to have a positive impact on the political game and to pave the way for a fairer election process. But on the other hand, those in charge of the leading parties are seeking to find their way round some of the reforms in order to maintain their dominance” (electronic edition).
Country report. Honduras January 2005: “On October 20th 2004 the two main political parties, the governing Partido Nacional (PN) and opposition Partido Liberal (PL), registered their pre-candidates in the Tribunal Supremo Electoral (TSE), the supreme electoral tribunal. The smaller parties have only one-precandidate each for president, so will not hold primaries…The PL has eight pre-candidates for president…The race for the presidential candidacy within the PN is extremely close: Miguel Pastor, the mayor of Tegucigalpa, leads the Nuevo Tiempo…faction…; the president of Congress and leader of the Trabajo y Seguridad…faction [is] Porfirio Lobo Sosa...Mr Pastor has a high profile in the media, owing mainly to the support of Rafael Ferrari, the owner of Corporación Televicentro and Emisoras Unidas, the main television and radio networks” (page 15).
Country report. Honduras January 2005: “In November Mr Pastor claimed that more than 400,000 young Hondurans will be unable to vote because they lack identity cards, and accused Mr Lobo Sosa of intentionally delaying the issue of the cards with the Registro de las Personas (the issuing agency) to favour his candidacy; Mr Pastor has a greater appeal among young voters” (page 15). “In November Congress ratified a constitutional reform introducing rules under which a referendum or plebiscite may be held. Initiatives to be subject to direct popular vote will now have to be presented either by at least ten representatives of Congress, by the president of Honduras, or by a petition from 6% of the population” (page 16).
Latin American regional report. Caribbean & Central America December 14, 2004: “Congress approved a constitutional reform introducing referendums and plebiscites to Honduran politics on 24 November. Referendums and plebiscites can now be called on the initiative of 10 legislators in the 128-seat congress, the president, or 6% of the public on the electoral roll…The ruling Partido Nacional and the main opposition Partido Liberal have been arguing over the reform since early 2004” (latinnews.com).
Central America report March 4, 2005: The “Chamelecón massacre” takes place when “on December 23, 2004, alleged gang members opened fire on a public bus, killing 28 passengers” (electronic edition).
Country profile. Honduras 2005: “A massacre on December 23rd 2004, when 28 bus passengers (mostly women and children) were killed in Chamalecon, near San Pedro Sula, exposed the government’s problems in reducing violent crime. The massacre was reported to have been planned by members of the ‘Mara Salvatrucha’ (Honduras’s most notorious street gang), aiming to demonstrate the failure of the government’s security policy” (page 7).
Cálix 2006: “En 2004, Honduras…tenía una población aproximada de siete millones de habitantes, de los cuales 3 976 550 estaban, en 2005, en edad de votar e inscritos en el padrón electoral” (page 21).
Central America report February 18, 2005: “Quota system for women not working” (electronic edition). Article discusses application of May 2004 electoral law in this election. “Within the Legislature, there are nine women deputies and 13 women substitute deputies, out of a combined total of 128 deputies and substitute deputies. At local government level, out of 298 mayors, 25 are women. Furthermore, of the 298 deputy mayors, 36 are women; and of the 2,100 municipal councilors, 310 are women.”
Central America report November 19, 2004: “On 20 February 2005, eight candidates from the Liberal Party (PL), four from the National Party (PN) and two from the Democratic Unification party (UD) will battle to become the official candidates for their respective parties for the November 2005 general elections. Only the Honduran Christian Democratic Party (PDCH) and the Social Democratic Unity and Innovation Party (PINU-SD) will not take part, as they have already named their presidential hopefuls. [The] primaries will not only determine who will be running for president and vice-president of the Republic, but also the official candidates for the 128 seats in Congress, the 28 seats in the Central American Parliament, the 289 Mayors and Vice-Mayors and the 2,386 Municipal Corporation governors. According to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), the process will cost approximately 124 million lempiras (US$6.7 million)” (electronic edition).
Central America report February 4, 2005: “On one side is Miguel Pastor, the current mayor of Tegucigalpa who is championing ‘a new way of doing politics.’ Pastor has orchestrated a campaign in which he presents himself as a new breed of politician, rising above traditional political practices. On the other hand, Porfirio Lobo Sosa, president of Congress, is constantly reiterating his stance as a tough and strong minded leader…On February 20, the primaries will decide which strategy has inspired the most confidence…Pastor burst onto the political scene—after a low profile spell in Congress—with the helping hand of an influential ‘godfather’: the business man Rafael Ferrari. Ferrari is the majority shareholder in media companies…and he also wields much influence within the press. A powerful ‘godmother’ also looks after Pastor: his mother-in-law Nora Gúnera de Melgar, who has had a long and anomalous political career and who is the widow of ex president General Melgar Castro (1975-1978). As if this kind of support was not enough, Pastor’s Nuevo Tiempo…movement benefits from the backing of nearly all of big business…Behind Pastor, a group of experienced aides is at work, and analysts believe that the group’s leader, twin brother Sebastián Pastor—married to Ferrari’s daughter—is the brains behind the NT campaign…Gabriela Núñez…knows that her chances of victory are slim, but is playing a strategic game with a view to future success. The politician considers the primaries as a launch pad that could lead her to the presidency within four or eight years” (electronic edition). Discusses other candidates briefly.
Central America report March 4, 2005: “According to official figures announced on February 21, of the 289,300 registered Liberal votes, the ‘Movimiento Esperanza Liberal’ (MEL)…candidate Zelaya won 52%, Jaime Rosenthal Oliva won 17% and ex Finance minister under the presidency of Carlos Flores, Gabriela Núñez, won 12%...Nueva Mayoría [is] the movement led by Gabriela Núñez…Of the 280,000 votes posted for Nationalist Party pre-candidates, Porfirio Lobo Sosa won 62%, easily beating his nearest rival, Miguel Pastor (30%)…Media and business backing for Pastor proved ultimately futile” (electronic edition).
Country report. Honduras April 2005: “On February 20th the two main political parties—the governing Partido Nacional (PN) and opposition Partido Liberal (PL)—held open primaries to elect their candidates for president, vice-president, representatives to Congress and the Central American Parliament, and local authorities (including mayors) for the general election on November 27th” (page 12). Gives further details and results. “One of the electoral reforms introduced in 2004 changed the vote-counting process from one carried out in the town halls where the votes had been cast, to one conducted in the central office at the Tribunal Supremo Electoral (TSE), the electoral agency, in the capital, Tegucigalpa. However, this has led to claims that this has increased the scope for electoral fraud…Although the electoral law establishes that women should comprise at least 30% of candidates, this was not fulfilled by any faction. The low participation rate in the primaries (45% of the electorate participated in the primaries, with 21% for the PN and 24% for the PL) is a reflection of the lack of public faith in Honduras’s political institutions and leaders” (page 14).
Fúnes Valladares 2004: La Ley Electoral “obliga a los partidos políticos a reformar sus estatutos e incorporar políticas de equidad de género que garanticen la cuota de participación de las mujeres, establecida en 30%. El plazo otorgado es de seis meses antes de las elecciones internas y primarias de los partidos políticos, a efectuarse en febrero de 2005” (page 217).
Una mirada al proceso electoral primario 2005: resultados del sistema de indicadores de seguimiento 2005: “Las elecciones internas del 20 de febrero de 2005…tienen una gran relevancia porque son las primeras que se realizan empleando, por primera vez, papeleta separada con fotografía para los cargos electivos de diputados y diputadas y las alcaldías, después de la aprobación en el año 2004 de una nueva Ley Electoral y de las Organizaciones Políticas…La nueva ley incluye, además, la postulación de candidaturas independientes. Por otra parte, las elecciones primaras han puesto nuevamente en vigencia la figura de la Vicepresidencia, eliminada hace cincuenta años, al tiempo que se ha creado la figura del Tribunal Supremo Electoral (TSE)…en sustitución del Tribunal Nacional de Elecciones…El padrón electoral utilizado para las elecciones primarias fue con base en 3,982,472 electores y se habilitaron 5,303 centros de votación, donde se ubicaron 18,368 Mesas Receptoras Electorales…Para las elecciones se inscribieron 12 movimientos políticos con igual número de precandidatos que se postulaban a la Presidencia y Vicepresidencia de la República, así como 1,536 candidaturas para diputaciones y 3,576 para corporaciones municipales” (page 9). Gives further details. “De acuerdo con el Tribunal Supremo Electoral, en los comicios del 20 de febrero el número de votantes fue de 1,705,227, de los 3,982,472 electores registrados en el padrón electoral, lo cual supone que los partidos políticos tradicionales lograron una participación del 43% del total del censo electoral. De los 1,705,227 electores que ejercieron el voto, 904,044 fueron para el Partido Liberal, y 801,183 para el Partido Nacional” (page 55). “Resultados obtenidos por las corrientes del PL en las elecciones primarias del 20 de febrero 2005” (page 56). “Resultados obtenidos por las corrientes del PN en las elecciones primarias del 20 de febrero 2005” (page 56).
NotiCen February 24, 2005: “Hondurans went to the polls Feb. 20 to choose candidates for national elections slated for Nov. 27. The following day, the Tribunal Superior Electoral (TSE) announced winners: Porfirio Lobo Sosa for the ruling Partido Nacional (PN) and Manuel Zelaya for the opposition Partido Liberal (PL). Voters also chose candidates for 256 congressional representatives and alternates, and for 298 mayors…In all, Hondurans chose among 34,000 candidates for 3,000 offices throughout the country. The primaries did not go off smoothly. In many places, polling stations opened late. There was a shortage of ballots and other essential materials” (LADB). Discusses the presidential candidates.
Taylor-Robinson 2006: “En 2005, y como en el pasado, cada precandidato presidencial proponía una lista de nominados a candidatos al Congreso por cada departamento, pero como nota diferente, en esta ocasión las listas eran abiertas y los votantes podrían seleccionar los nominados a través de ellas” (page 117). “Administración de las elecciones de 2005” (pages 118-119). “La importancia de los resultados electorales de 2005” (pages 119-122). Includes results. “Partido gobernante, tendencias de reelección, representación de la mujer y de partidos pequeños (cifras en %)” (page 121). “Las elecciones de 2005…se caracterizaron, porque arrojaron el mayor número de sillas ganadas por las mujeres en un Congreso…Treinta y dos mujeres (25%) ocupan sillas en el Congreso de 2006-10, y de todos los candidatos a diputado quien obtuvo la mayor votación fue una mujer. Para el Congreso de 2006-10, 10 de los 18 departamentos eligieron mujeres, mostrando mayor diversidad geográfica que en el pasado…Cuatro afrohondureños diputados fueron electos; esta es la primera vez en 70 años que los afrohondureños obtienen representación en el Congreso” (page 121). “Un aspecto final de importancia de los resultados electorales de 2005 fue el continuo aumento en la tasa de abstencionismo a pesar que el voto es mandatario en Honduras” (page 122).
Taylor-Robinson 2007: “The two traditional parties…selected their presidential candidates in party primaries, held on 20 February 2005. The PNH primary had four contenders; the PLH primary had eight” (page 521).
Country report. Honduras July 2005: “Following the February primaries…members of both parties closed ranks around their prospective candidates in conventions in May” (page 13). Gives details.
Country report. Honduras July 2005: “Crisis…beset the Public Prosecutor’s Office in June, culminating on June 28th with the resignation of both the attorney-general…and the assistant attorney-general…The decision of the US embassy [to revoke the U.S. visa of the assistant attorney-general] is viewed by some observers as a warning for the next administration that new corruption scandals will not be easily tolerated” (page 13).
Country report. Honduras October 2005: “In accordance with electoral law, campaigning for the 2005 general elections officially began on August 27th, three months ahead of the legislative and presidential ballots that will take place on November 27th. However, an unofficial campaign began as soon as the two main candidates for the presidency…emerged as their party’s respective presidential candidates following primary elections in February” (pages 12-13).
Taylor-Robinson 2007: “The general election campaign officially began on 29 August but campaigning by presidential pre-candidates begins years earlier. With open-list elections, congressional candidates campaigned actively in their departments…Since they had to win open-list elections, rather than winning a seat based on votes for their party or presidential candidate, congressional candidates campaigned as individuals” (pages 521-522).
November 27: general election (Zelaya / PL)
Central America report December 9, 2005: “The election also saw Hondurans electing 128 congressmen along with 298 mayors and vice mayors. In mayoral elections results were mixed. In the Central District the National Party candidate, Ricardo Álvarez easily beat Liberal Enrique ‘Kikito’ Ortez, while in San Pedro Sula, Liberal Rodolfo Padilla Sunserry won marginally more votes than Arturo ‘Tuckey’ Bendaña. The latter threatened to contest the result” (electronic edition).
Chronicle of parliamentary elections 39 2001: For the November 27, 2005 election for the national congress gives the structure of parliament, the electoral system, the background and outcome of the elections, and the results, including the distribution of seats according to sex (pages 76-78). “About 46 per cent of the four million registered voters turned out at the polls, which were monitored by a total of 114 election observers from 14 countries of the Organization of American States along with 6,000 local observers. More than 16,000 soldiers and police officers were deployed” (page 111).
Country profile. Honduras 2006: “Several factors combined to influence the result, including the unpopularity of the incumbent Maduro administration, the aggressive campaign led by Mr Lobo Sosa and a desire for change among the electorate…The aggressive nature of the Lobo Sosa campaign, which promised the reintroduction of the death penalty as a means to reduce violent crime, undermined support for the PN in the election, particularly among non-partisan voters. By contrast, Mr Zelaya’s more comprehensive approach to tackling violent crime, including rehabilitation programmes for the young, won an unexpectedly high level of backing…(T)he PL failed to gain a simple majority in Congress, winning 62 of the 128 seats, leaving the government reliant on the support of other parties in order to pass legislation” (page 7). “Presidential election result, Nov 27th 2005” (page 7).
Country report. Honduras January 2006: Discusses the election (pages 12-14). “In an election which illustrated the bipolar nature of Honduran politics, the minor parties…jointly obtained just 4% of the vote. The PL won in 14 out of a total of 18 departments, mostly in rural districts; the PN retained the most populous department, Francisco Morazán—home to the capital, Tegucigalpa, and a traditional PN stronghold—as well as the departments of Choluteca, Intibuca and Lempira. The PL obtained 62 of the seats in Congress…and 165 mayorships…The PN won 55 Congressional seats, while the minor parties jointly obtained 11 seats…(T)he process was marred by delays in vote counting (the final results of the election were not published until the end of December) and concerns over the politicisation of the [TSE]” (pages 12-13). “(T)he low participation of the electorate (only 43% of 3.9m of electors turned out at the polls) also reflected the discontent with an electoral process that was characterised by a lack of proposals to solve Honduras’s long-standing problems, leading to scepticism about the nature of democracy under the country’s existing political structure” (page 14).
Cultura política de la democracia en Honduras: 2006 2007: “El 27 de Noviembre del 2005, Honduras llevo a cabo las séptimas elecciones generales consecutivas desde su retorno al sistema democrático en 1981…Durante las siete elecciones anteriores, el partido político en el poder ha alternado cuatro veces (1989, 1993, 2001 y 2005) entre los dos principales partidos del país (PL y PN). De esta manera, Honduras parece haber consolidado su sistema democrático, el cual ha experimentado elecciones relativamente justas, libres y pacíficas” (page 11).
Elecciones generales 2005: monitoreo y análisis desde la sociedad civil 2006: “(E)n las recientes elecciones de noviembre de 2005, si bien consolidan como triunfador al bipartidismo tradicional, muestran visos de una cierta erosión de las bases que han permitido hasta ahora la estabilidad electoral. El ausentismo que promedia el 45%, es el más alto reportado desde la recuperación democrática y supera en 12 puntos porcentuales a la cifra registrada en las elecciones de 2001 (33%). Más allá de los problemas de fiabilidad del censo electoral, especialmente por la no depuración de los miles de migrantes que cada año salen del país, lo cierto es que el alza del ausentismo ha sido notoriamente alta…Asimismo, en el nivel presidencial la proporción de votos inválidos (nulos y blancos), que nunca había sobrepasado el 5% de los votos escrutados, esta vez casi se duplico al llegar al 9%” (page 13). “Un vistazo a los resultados electorales” (pages 61-67).
Keesing’s record of world events November 2005: “Elections were held on Nov. 27 for a president, a vice-president, deputies to the 128-member National Congress (the uni-cameral legislature), and 298 municipal mayors. The final results had not been confirmed by the end of the month. There were five candidates running for president but the two front-runners were National Party of Honduras (PNH) candidate Porfirio ‘Pepe’ Lobo Sosa, with running mate Mario Canahuati, and Liberal Party of Honduras (PLH) candidate Jose Manuel ‘Mel’ Zelaya Rosales, with running mate Elvin Ernesto Santos. The central theme of both campaigns was addressing the high levels of criminal violence and organised crime within the country. Lobo promised to reinstate the death penalty, while Zelaya advocated the imposition of life sentences for violent crimes and increasing financial support for the police” (electronic edition).
Latin American regional report. Caribbean & Central America December 2005: “The cadidate for the opposition Partido Liberal (PL), Manuel ‘Mel’ Zelaya, won the presidential elections on 27 November. His victory…was not confirmed by the [TSE] for 12 days…Two concerns emerged from the elections: the lack of an independent TSE and the high rate of voter abstention…The rate of abstention (more than 40%) was the highest in the eight elections held since the transition to democracy began in 1980” (latinnews.com). Gives further details.
Latin American regional report. Caribbean & Central America January 2006: “The PL fell short of a majority of 50% plus one in the 128-seat congress, winning 62 seats to 55 for the PN. The three smaller parties took 11 seats between them…The PL secured an alliance with the UD to gain a fragile majority…(T)hree Garífunas were appointed to congress for the 2006-2010 term, the first representatives of the community, descended from a mix of Amerindian and African people, in congress since 1930” (latinnews.com). Gives their names and departments they represent.
NotiCen December 1, 2005: “The Honduran Tribunal Supremo Electoral (TSE) has called the Nov. 27 presidential elections for Manuel ‘Mel’ Zelaya of the opposition Partido Liberal (PL). Zelaya appeared to have beaten governing Partido Nacional (PN) candidate Porfirio Lobo Sosa in a close race punctuated with personal attacks and accusations. Lobo refused to concede as the early votes were counted, complaining that the TSE had called the race without presenting firm data. In fact, the TSE presented no data. As the week wore on, there was no official winner. 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…Spiraling violence made the gang issue the central theme of the election…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…Meanwhile, for the first time since 1980, Hondurans also voted for a vice president. The title had been eliminated to avoid presidential coups” (LADB).
Taylor-Robinson 2006: “En las elecciones de 2005 se usaron por primera vez papeletas separadas para elegir presidente y congresistas y esta última contenía los nombres y fotos de los candidatos al Congreso. Estos cambios ejemplificaron el paso de elecciones cerradas a elecciones abiertas” (page 114).
Taylor-Robinson 2007: “In the past, Hondurans elected three ‘presidential designates’ on a ticket along with the presidential candidate, but for the 2005 election the constitution was amended to create a single vice-president…Until the 2005 election, the Congress was elected via a closed-list proportional system, with the 18 departments designated as electoral districts. District magnitude was determined by population size, ranging from one seat to 23 seats (average 7). For the 2005 election, an open-list proportional system was used, but electoral districts and district magnitude were unchanged” (page 521). Describes the congressional election. “The Equality of Opportunity Law (2000) requires that at least 30% of each party’s candidates should be women. However, the law lacks teeth. There is no special provision to facilitate the representation of minority groups but, as in the 2001 election, Hondurans living in the United States could vote at the embassy in Washington D.C., and at consulates in Miami, Los Angeles, Houston, and New York” (page 521). “Election results” (pages 522-524). “Results of the presidential and congressional elections, Honduras, 27 November 2005” (page 523).
Keesing’s record of world events November 2005: “Following the elections, tensions grew between the two parties after the President of the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE), Aristides Mejía, on Nov. 28 controversially announced Zelaya to be the winner by 50.8 per cent of the vote compared to 45.2 per cent for Lobo, based on results from only 151 of the 5,312 voting stations—about 1 per cent of the vote. (Mejía was the PLH’s appointee to the TSE, which comprised party delegates.) More than 3,000 supporters of the PNH took to the streets on Nov. 28 to protest against the TSE, which claimed that technical difficulties had delayed the announcement of the final election results” (electronic edition).
Central America report December 9, 2005: “Election results and corresponding distribution of seats in the National Congress (official figures published December 2, with 80% of the vote counted)” (electronic edition).
Latin American regional report. Caribbean & Central America January 2006: “The presidential and legislative elections were the worst since the return to democracy 25 years ago, electoral observers are claiming. The final results were not released until 23 December, nearly a month after the elections were held. The target for much of the observers’ criticism was the [TSE], which they accused of politicisation” (latinnews.com).
NotiCen December 15, 2005: “Manuel ‘Mel’ Zelaya of the Partido Liberal (PL) is president-elect of Honduras. His victory was suspected soon after the Nov. 27 election, but the failure of the [TSE] to produce the data led his opponent, Porfirio Lobo Sosa of the ruling Partido Nacional (PN), to refuse to concede until Dec. 5, when the data became available, abundant, and overwhelming. Even then, however, the TSE had still not published the full count or certified the results…Zelaya assumed the mantle of president-elect early on…From the look of it, commentators have taken the view that he has not only defeated the ruling party but he has beaten the conservative wing of his own party, too. Zelaya’s closest allies now are cofounders with him of the Movimiento Esperanza Liberal (MEL)” (LADB).
NotiCen February 2, 2006: “The PL won 62 seats in the election, the outgoing ruling party, the Partido Nacional, 52. Dealmaking with lesser parties left the two major parties evenly divided…The final results were not released until Dec. 23, nearly a month after the elections were held” (LADB).
Taylor-Robinson 2007: “The major problem with the election was the TSE’s inability to produce the results quickly…Finally, on 7 December, Lobo conceded, and on 23 December the TSE issued its official report declaring Manuel Zelaya the president-election. The Congress results were also slow, due to the complexity of counting votes for open-list elections…Ultimately, the PLH won a plurality of 62 seats, three seats shy of a majority…A notable outcome of the congressional election was the low number of incumbents re-elected…Also noteworthy were impressive gains by women. In the 2001-06 Congress, only 8 of the 128 deputies (6.3%) were women, but there are altogether 32 female deputies (25%) in the new Congress…The 2006-10 Congress also includes four Afro-Honduran deputies, the first time in 70 years that this ethnic group has been represented” (page 523). “The PLH won 167 of 298 municipalities (56%), and the PNH won 123 (41%). The PINU won the mayor’s office in 7 municipalities, the PDCH 1, and the PUD 0” (pages 523-524).
Central America report August 4, 2006: “Tensions have arisen between Zelaya and vice-president Elvin Santos due to the president’s relationship with the Chávez administration…If United States Ambassador Charles Ford was anxious over Zelaya’s relationship with Chávez, he will be even more concerned over the president’s new relationship with the Cuban government…Existing tensions over foreign policy have been exacerbated by proposals made by liberal sectors to reform ‘obsolete articles’ in the Constitution. One of the articles to be reformed is the section preventing presidential re-election, which has been seen as a clear move to pave the way for the re-election of President Zelaya…United States Ambassador Charles Ford has made no efforts to conceal his opposition to President Zelaya's foreign policy, cultivating alliances with disgruntled sectors who feel they have not received their fair share of political spoils. These allies include vice-president Santos and powerful media tycoon Jorge Canahuati Larach” (electronic edition).
Central America report February 16, 2007: “2006 saw over 3,000 murders committed, including assassinations of renowned lawyers, environmentalists, and human rights advocates—salient indications of the government’s impotence against common delinquency and organized crime” (electronic edition).
Country profile. Honduras 2006: “Perhaps surprisingly, given the PL’s lack of a majority and need to build consensus with opposition parties to pass legislation, after taking office on January 27th 2006 the Zelaya administration was characterised by strong leadership (with decision-making resting on the authority of the president rather than on collective cabinet agreement) and a confrontational style…Mr Zelaya represents the centre-left of the PL, and his populist style (including his relations with controversial regional leaders such as the Venezuelan president, Hugo Chávez) during his first year in office also raised concerns among the traditional liberal leaders and among his closest political supporters” (page 7).
Country profile. Honduras 2007: “During his electoral campaign, Mr Zelaya pledged to increase the participation of citizens in political life. To this end, Congress passed the Ley de Participación Ciudadana…on the day Mr Zelaya took office. The legislation is aimed at increasing the opportunities for the public to participate in the evaluation and formulation of government policy” (page 7).
Country report. Honduras April 2006: “On January 27th 2006 José Manuel Zelaya Rosales of the Partido Liberal (PL) took office as president of Honduras, replacing the outgoing Ricardo Maduro Joest of the Partido Nacional (PN). Mr Zelaya’s victory in the November 27th 2005 election has been seen as a reflection of the desire for change following a PN administration that had been damaged by a number of high-profile corruption scandals that emerged during its time in office, undermining the electoral prospects of the PN candidate, Profirio Lobo Sosa” (page 13). The Ley de Participación Ciudadana “provides for the creation of the National Forum of Citizen Power, which will be given the task of implementing, executing and supervising the Ley de Transparencia” (page 14).
Latin American regional report. Caribbean & Central America February 2006: “Zelaya immediately got to work on trying to resolve one of the country’s most intractable problems—the mara gangs. Unlike his opponent in the elections…, who promised a war on the maras, Zelaya spoke during his campaign of the need to rehabilitate gang members…If Zelaya is offering an olive branch in one hand he has a sword in the other…1,000 soldiers will shortly be drafted into the police force to toughen up its act. The troop transfer will bring the police force up to 9,000 officers; the government will also expand the army, which currently has 8,300 troops, by seeking to attract a further 4,000 recruits” (latinnews.com).
Central America report April 7, 2006: “On March 28 hundreds of taxi drivers, businessmen, teachers and indigenous people marched in the main cities of Honduras to demand that the government reduce fuel prices. The protests were organized by the CPS, a coalition of more than 60 social organizations” (electronic edition).
Central America report April 21, 2006: “CAFTA officially came into effect with Honduras on April 1” (electronic edition).
Central America report February 16, 2007: “Zelaya’s government has had tense relations with the United States. He and US ambassador Charles Ford have met to discuss the possible nationalization of Honduran gas, a move which has challenged US interests. Zelaya’s relations with Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez have also caused disagreement between the two countries. In retaliatory measures, the US cancelled visas to Hondurans June 16, revoked visas already in effect, and delayed temporary residency applications for Hondurans living in the US” (electronic edition).
Central America report July 7, 2006: “The decision by the Honduran government to put the purchase of fuel up for tender and allow Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) to take part in the bidding process has met with strong opposition from the US. President Zelaya has also come under heavy criticism from right-wing parties, who consider the US a key ally…(T)he US embassy in Tegucigalpa suspended the issuing of visas to Honduran citizens after a series of scandals and irregularities in the National Civil Registry (RNP). Thus, [U.S. ambassador] Charles Ford was making it clear that the US could make things very difficult for Zelaya if his administration refused to toe the line…During the presidential elections, the Venezuela government provided the Zelaya campaign with financial assistance as well as international contacts” (electronic edition).
Keesing’s record of world events August 2006: “President Mel Zelaya…on Aug. 12 signed an agreement with the Federation of Teachers Organisations (FOMH) to increase the monthly pay of school teachers…The agreement brought an end to a strike by some 61,000 teachers, which had since Aug. 1 closed most schools in Honduras. On Aug. 1011 some 20,000 teachers had gathered in Tegucigalpa, the capital, to demand greater pay and improved working conditions. Around 50 people were injured on Aug. 9 during violent clashes between the teachers and police officers” (electronic edition).
Central America report January 5, 2007: “The majority of Hondurans are under 18 years old…Following the devastation of Hurricane Mitch in October 1998, emigration has intensified; it is estimated that 800,000 Hondurans live abroad, mostly in the U.S. The flow of remittances has also grown…The Central Bank reported that remittances in 2006 totaled US$2.3 billion…Over 90% of Hondurans living abroad reside in the U.S. Within that group it is estimated that 80% are undocumented” (electronic edition).
Country report. Honduras November 2007: “Speculation over pre-candidacies for primary elections, due to take place in February 2009, is already proving a political distraction. Rafael Pineda Ponce, a former minister of education, president of Congress and presidential candidate for the PL, has formed a new faction within the PL” (page 9).
NotiCen November 29, 2007: “Hondurans in the US send home more than US$2 billion each year to families…Remittances account for 28.2% of Honduras’ GDP” (LADB).
Central America report July 6, 2007: “In early March, President Mel Zelaya approved a joint measure with the US Drug Enforcement Agency to build an anti-drug trafficking base in Gracias a Dios” (electronic edition).
Central America report July 6, 2007: “Drug traffickers control the Atlantic provinces of Atlántida, Colón, and Gracias a Dios—covering a total of 29,618 square kilometers—announced the [CIPRODEH] in late May…According to the report, the murder rate in Honduras is 46.2 in 100,000, the second highest in Central America—only outpaced by El Salvador…In mid-May, the Honduran government confirmed reports that US anti-drug trafficking special forces have begun operations in that region. Most cocaine simply passes through Honduras on the way to the other countries, especially the United States” (electronic edition).
NotiCen June 28, 2007: “The president’s approval numbers have declined from 70% when he took office in January 2006 to 46% in May 2007” (LADB). Describes his difficult relations with the media.
Central America report October 19, 2007: “(I)n July…Zelaya attended the 28th anniversary of the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua. Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez was also at the event and Zelaya briefly met with him” (electronic edition).
Central America report October 19, 2007: “President Manuel Zelaya recently made an official trip to Cuba, the first Honduran head of state to do so in forty-five years…The détente with Cuba is the latest overt sign of goodwill between President Zelaya and the leaders of the Latin American left…Venezuela may supply Honduras with oil in the future, while Cuba is already supplying Honduras with doctors and a literacy program” (electronic edition).
Latin American regional report. Caribbean & Central America November 2007: “In a press conference on 7 November minority party [PINU-SD] accused President Manuel Zelaya of having dragged the country into ‘governmental chaos’…The PINU-SD proposed a multi-party meeting to agree upon ‘an emergency plan of immediate action’…Zelaya has been heavily criticised since taking office in 2006 for authoritarianism and his attacks on the media” (latinnews.com).
Central America report January 11, 2008: “On December 22, Honduras was accepted into Petrocaribe, becoming the 17th member of the Venezuelan driven oil consortium. Concomitantly, President Mel Zelaya reached an agreement with Venezuela whereby Honduras would import 100% of its bunker and 30% of its diesel and gasoline from Venezuela’s state-owned Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A….The Petrocaribe agreement must first be approved by the Honduran National Congress…The Liberal Party controls the most votes of any party in congress—almost half—and the National Party, with the second most votes, mostly opposes Petrocaribe as well” (electronic edition).
Central America report January 18, 2008: “On December 20, 2007, congressional leaders from the two dominant parties drove congress to pass a set of electoral reforms. President Manuel Zelaya promptly vowed to veto them, however, citing constitutional objections. Zelaya specifically objected…to one reform that would have pushed the primaries up by three months—February 2009 to November 2008—and to another that would have boosted public funding of the nation’s political parties. Under the reforms, public funding would have increased from about US$3.2 million every election cycle to about US$52 million every election cycle” (electronic edition).
Country report. Honduras January 2008: “In late December Congress passed a reform to the Ley Electoral y de las Organizaciones Políticas…which includes, among other things, the decision to move the party primaries forward from February 2009 to November 2008, the decentralisation of vote counting to municipalities and departments, the elimination of barriers to the presentation of minor parties and the financing of political parties with funds from the national budget” (page 8). Gives details issues involved. “Political transparency continues to worsen as demonstrated by a Supreme Court ruling in mid-December, which declared that a clause banning sitting presidents of Congress from running for the presidency is unconstitutional” (page 9).