TEGUCIGALPA ( Associated Press) — The Honduran Congress will this week begin electing the 15 members of a new Supreme Court of Justice, in a process with implications for the government of President Xiomara Castro, who has promised a marked change from the “dictatorship” . its predecessor.
If legislators from Castro’s Libertad y Refundación (Libre) party grant him control of the Supreme Court, he will have the same dominance over the three public powers that his predecessor, Juan Orlando Hernández, had.
It was this control that allowed Hernández to seek re-election for a second term as president, despite being prohibited by the constitution. The former president is awaiting trial on drug charges in the United States.
“It is never healthy for government parties to manage all the power within the state,” said Juan Carlos Barrientos, a constitutional lawyer and analyst. Libre “Earlier, they talked of a dictatorship, because the previous government had all the powers, but now that they have a government they also want to be dictators,” he said.
Castro’s party has a majority in Congress, but will need to negotiate with others to select the court’s magistrates. Juan Carlos Aguilar of the NGO Association for a More Just Society (ASJ) said his goal was to get at least eight seats on the court to secure a majority.
There has also been talk of the possibility of Hernández’s National Party being ousted from the court entirely, although that seems unlikely since a supermajority – 86 votes in the 128-seat chamber – confirms a new judge to the court. are required to do so, and LIBRE only has 48 compared to the National Party’s 43.
Aguilar said, “If the National Party is left, it will be dangerous because it will repeat the model that the National Party came to implement at the time, which had control of the three branches of the state.”
“We know that the rule of law has suffered regressiveness,” he said.
Aguilar said that at times the Supreme Court has been used to solidify political plans rather than issue legal decisions, noting the court’s ruling that allowed Hernandez to seek re-election in 2017.