Constitutional Analysis: Honduras

Prepared by the Carter Center, reproduced with permission.

1. What are the provisions/justifications in the constitution to remove a president? Is there an impeachment procedure?

Currently, there is nothing written into the Honduran Constitution regarding impeachment or removal of the head of state. Under the powers of the Legislative Branch, Article 205 did have a provision that mentioned a process determining whether or not to pursue actions against the president: Article 205 § 15: Declare whether or not there are grounds for the formation of a cause against the President. (Repeal 157 2003). This section was repealed in 2003 and was not replaced by any other provisions. Article 205 § 45 provides for the Congress to create laws regarding anything not provided for in the Constitution.

2. Does the Honduran president have the power to remove chiefs of the Armed Forces?

The President has the power, under Article 245 § 5, to freely name And remove functionaries and employees whose naming to office is not been given to the other branches of government. In addition, Article 280 under the powers of the Armed Forces, the President has the power to name and remove from office the Secretario de Estado en el Despacho de Defensa Nacional and the Jefe del Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas.

3. What are the constitutional provisions to amend or reform the constitution? Does it provide for a Constituent Assembly? Who can call for constitutional reforms (e.g. petitions of signatures, request of president, vote in Congress)?

Article 373 provides for the amendment process through the Congress in an ordinary session by 2/3 vote of all members. Article 5 provides for direct democracy provisions, plebiscite and referendum, that allow for changes to the constitution. To call a referendum or plebiscite, the Congress must have a 2/3 vote on the regulations and procedure prior to it taking place.

4. Is there a prohibition in the constitution on changing the article limiting presidential terms to a single term?

Article 374 prohibits changing the term limit of the President and re-election.

5. Is there any procedure for the Supreme Court to enforce its own rulings if it instructs another branch, such as the executive, to do something?

If the ruling is given under the Sala de lo Constitucional (Article 316), then the Supreme Court has the power to resolve disputes between the branches of government and it is effective immediately. There are no enforcement provisions though and no other mention of powers the Judiciary has over the other branches. Everything is left to ordinary law.

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  1. Pingback: No “Coup” in Honduras | Zero Sheep

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