More Constitutional Amendments!?

January 19th, 2011
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Image by Carlos Eduardo Rivera

Image by Carlos Eduardo Rivera

The Honduran Congress has introduced more constitutional amendments last night, apparently to reform the judicial branch of government. I hope the Supreme Court declares them unconstitutional quickly; I suspect the reforms are “punishment” for the Supreme Court not bending to Manuel Zelaya’s will in 2009. It is not clear if that’s what Congress intends to do with these amendments, and if more are on the way. I am pessimistic about their motivations with all the pressure they are under, and their susceptibility to being bought off by rich oil-producing south american nations. I’m looking at you, Chavez.

I have read opinions saying that the constitutional amendments Congress is quickly punching through validate Zelaya’s position in the 2009 self-coup he almost succeeded in perpetrating. But in actually, they debunk his favorite idea: He repeatedly said that a Constitutional Assembly was necessary because merely amending the constitution could not fix it. Congress is proving him wrong with these amendments; they are significantly changing the political balance of power.

We may need to fear, though, that with all these speedy amendments, the Constitution that successfully defended us against autocracy in 2009 will now become powerless, like the Constitution of Venezuela, for instance. Hugo Chavez pushed through a constitutional assembly, and created a new Venezuelan Constitution that was became an accessory to consolidate his power. He ignores it now. Will our Constitution suffer the same fate?

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