Honduran Truth and Reconciliation Commission Issues Ruling
The Honduras Truth and Reconciliation Commission has concluded that the removal from office of former President Manuel Zelaya was a coup.
The Commission said Mr Zelaya broke the law when he disregarded the Supreme Court ruling ordering him to cancel the referendum.
The report said the Honduran Congress lacked a clear procedure to resolve power conflicts such as the one which arose in June 2009 between the president and Congress, but that it had acted beyond its limits by deposing the president.
The report further said that Congress overstepped its powers when it nominated Speaker of Congress Roberto Micheletti as interim president.
This pretty much sums up my conclusions on the situation at the time that 1) it was a coup (as I noted from the beginning), that 2) Zelaya acted illegally in refusing to stop the plebiscite (see discussion here and here), and that 3) the whole situation was made all the more problematic because of a lack of adequate institutional mechanisms to deal with Zelaya’s actions.
Now, it is worth noting that of the transgressions under discussion, the illegal removal of the president (and his exile) was by far the most egregious.
A major issue for the Honduran government ought to be constitutional reform to create a procedure for dealing with a president who ignores a court order as well as a functional impeachment process (as it stands, things are vague and dysfunctional).
Institutions, or the lack thereof, matter.
The Commission was appointed by the OAS and has no binding legal authority on the Honduran government.