In a move widely viewed as political, Congress President Juan Orlando Hernández and the Honduran Congress passed a bill aimed at destitution of members of the Honduran Supreme Court. The bill is considered a technical coup against members of the Supreme Court in which 4 of the 5 magistrates were targeted.
The session was tinged by the militarization of the outskirts of Congress since around 7:00 PM in the evening. The dismissal further sharpens the political institutional crisis in the country, which has been demonstrating for several months by criticisms of the legislative branch, and the Executive to the judiciary by declaring unconstitutional, nearly seven bills that are intended to implement.
The former President of the Honduras College of lawyers, and current Secretary of the Honduran Congress, Rigoberto Chang Castillo (family of the only judge who was not dismissed and who voted for the Act of debugging), chairs the Commission which investigated the administrative behavior of the magistrate also by Mario Pérez, who earlier confirmed that effectively reports were sent to the public prosecutor and the Courtto which report on complaints against judges, as well as cases that remain engavetados.
The Commission was also integrated by Tomás Zambrano, Armando Calidonio, Olman Maldonado, Orle Aníbal Solís, Marvin Ponce, and German Leitzelar, but the latter resigned.
While several members considered the possible political fallout and crisis situation devolping in Honduras; others such as José Alfredo Saavedra – President of the liberal base – and German Leitzelar warned that the same was a coup between branches of the State and on whether the legislative branch was entitled or not to make the decision as well as what the legal basis would be to make such determinations.
After the debate, the voting was 97 votes in favor of the separation of judges José Antonio Gutiérrez Navas (President), Gustavo Enrique Bustillo Palma, Rosalinda Cruz Sequeira and José Francisco Ruiz Gaekel occurred. There were 31 votes against.
For more on this developing news, please see the analysis by our Political Analyst who sees this as a bid by the President of Congress to be elected President of the Country of Honduras in the November 2013 Elections.