Jesuit Ministry in Honduras Offers Proposal Amid Continued Election Tension

A protestor injured by Honduran police on December 15, 2017 [Radio Progreso, Facebook]

Images shared by Radio Progreso, the Jesuit-sponsored human rights radio station in Honduras, via social media today illustrated a volatile situation in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa, as protestors were challenged and in some cases injured by police and military.

On Sunday the Honduran electoral commission declared current President Juan Orlando Hernández the victor of the November 26 election. However, the Organization of American States called for a new election, arguing that the vote was so riddled with irregularities that it was impossible to be sure of a winner. Radio Progreso made a similar call in a public proposal issued later in the day on Sunday.

Radio Progreso has been providing an insider’s view to the protests and response by the government via live video on their Facebook page and updates on their special election site since the election results were originally contested in late November.

The statement, originally published in Spanish be found below. Translation was provided by Friends of Fe y Alegria in the United States. You can take action to call on the U.S. government to support steps toward peace and justice in Honduras here.

 Towards a viable and acceptable transition.
Our proposal.

published by Radio Progreso on December 17, 2017

We are at a dead end. Beyond the accusatory speeches or enthusiastic triumphs before the public, both the National Party and the Opposition Alliance know that they have been caught up in a political confrontation and mutual accusations and disqualifications that will only lead to growing instability. And the Honduran society is paying the price of ambitions of power and of an electoral process filled with obscurity.

We are experiencing a “catastrophic balance”, where no one can declare a winner without unleashing adverse dynamics, nor can anyone accept defeat without this evolving into relentless political and social rejection. On this path, we are heading towards endless deterioration. We are under the obligation to creatively seek proposals that break this infernal equilibrium and advance in the construction of possible scenarios.

As a civic contribution and with the purpose of contributing to breaking this catastrophic environment, we seek to publicly share with political parties, the OAS, the UN, the Embassy of the United States government in Honduras and the accredited diplomatic corps in our country, as well as the different social organizations, business sectors and men and women of good will, the following proposal for a possible political transition scenario:

  1. Invoking the Inter-American Democratic Charter of the OAS, with the OAS’ leadership and with the active agreement of the UN and the European Union, void the general elections held on November 26th.
  2. That the OAS and in agreement with the UN and the European Union, assume the call for a new electoral process.
  3. In order to avoid the trigger of the confrontation that accompanied the last electoral process, that the OAS convene, prior to the general elections, a referendum so that the sovereign body manifests in favor or against the reform of the inflexible articles that prohibit in an absolute way, the reelection of a president.
  4. If the referendum favors the elimination of the inflexible articles, Juan Orlando Hernández can aspire to reelection as president of the Republic; If the referendum is declared against re-election, the National Party must propose a candidate for the presidency other than Juan Orlando Hernández.
  5. Always under the auspices of the OAS and with the agreement of the UN and the European Union, a provisional and transitory government must be appointed, composed of a triumvirate of civilians of high national recognition, who will take office on January 27, 2018.
  6. The provisional and transitional government should call for general elections within the next six months, under the supervision of the OAS and with the agreement of the UN and the European Union. The new authorities should take office twenty days after being declared winners.
  7. The government that takes office after this electoral process must convene within a period of no more than two years a National Constituent Assembly in order to draft a new Constitution of the Republic as a condition for Honduras to advance towards a stage of building democracy and the Rule of Law.

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