- BBC News World
A little less than a week after taking office, the elected president of Honduras, Xiomara Castro, is already facing her first political crisis.
And it is within the future ruling party.
In a session marked by blows, boos and chaos, the parliamentarians met this Friday to vote for the provisional Board of Directors of the National Congress (2022-2026).
With 85 votes in favor, the congressmen elected the deputy Jorge Calix as President of Congress, in a decision that did not respect the pact between the Libertad y Refundación (Libre) Party, that of the future president, and Salvador Nasralla’s Salvador Party of Honduras (PSH).
An agreement prior to the elections between the two political groups established that Nasralla would not stand in the elections as a candidate for president if Libre guaranteed him the vice presidency and the possibility of electing the board of directors of Congress.
For that position, they had previously agreed on the appointment of deputy Luis Redondo, from the PSH.
However, as a result of an internal division within Libre, 20 deputies broke the pact and chose Cálix, from Libre, as provisional leader.
Although in another vote on Sunday the position must be ratified permanently, the newspaper El Heraldo indicates that Cálix’s position is taken for granted not only because it has been a tradition that the provisional president of the new chamber is the head of the permanent board of directors , but because he showed that his nomination has the support of at least 85 legislators, out of a minimum of 65 necessary.
After the swearing-in of the new provisional directive, the deputies who support Castro made a parallel swearing-in in which they named Redondo, although according to local media, this could lack legal validity.
fights and screams
The election of the deputy for the leadership of the parliament provoked fights, blows and offenses inside the chamber; Several Libre followers stormed the legislative headquarters as a protest.
President-elect Xiomara Castro reacted quickly on Twitter and described what happened as “treason”.
“The betrayal has been consummated“, He said.
The day before, Castro, wife of the former president Manuel Zelaya, criticized the fact that 20 deputies from his party -the same ones who voted today for Cálix- had not participated in a meeting he had called to discuss the election of the congressional leadership.
“The absence of the 20 deputies (of Libre) is the omen of a counterrevolutionary betrayal of the Honduran party and people that defeated the nationalist narco-dictatorship on Sunday, November 28, and a betrayal of the political project of the refoundation of the homeland by attempting the day of tomorrow (today) to impose the plan of the corrupt elite led by Juan Orlando Hernández,” Castro said in a statement.
The first woman to be elected as president of Honduras considered that the rebellion of the deputies constituted a “non-compliance” with the popular vote, which overwhelmingly elected her in alliance with the other parties with 1.7 million ballots in the polls.
The elected president indicated that, if Cálix is elected, the position of president will not be sworn in on the 27th, as is tradition, before the president of congress, but before a judge.
Of the 128 deputies that make up Parliament, Libre won 50 in the November 28 elections, followed by the National Party, in power for twelve years, with 44; the Liberal, with 22; the PSH, with 10; one the Christian Democracy and one the Anti-Corruption Party.
The definitive directive from Congress will begin the new legislative period on January 25, two days before Castro takes office.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.