The former president of Honduras who was ousted in a 2009 military coup has plans to take back his post. Manuel Zelaya said he’s thinking about running for president in the next election if he can gain the support of his party.
The announcement has reignited a debate around presidential term limits, which have proved contentious in the Central American nation, TelsurvTV reported Wednesday. Currently, more than one presidential term in Honduras is prohibited.
Zelaya, who became president in 2006 and served until he was ousted in June 2009, announced recently the left-wing Libre Party has said it’s OK for him to begin asking party members at internal elections if they support his bid if the opposing right-wing party pushes to re-elect President Juan Orlando Hernandez. Those internal deliberations will occur in late October. The election will be held roughly a year later in 2017. A Hernandez re-election bid has not been confirmed officially.
The notion Hernandez would break from custom and attempt to regain on power is notable. At least part of the rationale for kicking Zelaya out of office in 2009 stemmed from accusations he was planning on manipulating the country’s constitution to extend his presidency. He had scheduled a referendum in the next election to organize a constituent assembly to consider that possibility.
The situation in Honduras hasn’t exactly been rosy in the interim. The country has one of the highest homicide rates in the world. The violence has been carried out primarily by rampant gangs throughout the country that have consistently given Honduras the title of “murder capital of the world.” In the first half of 2015, for instance, there were 2,720 murders in the country, a 16 percent drop from the same period a year before. There are just over 8 million people in Honduras. In contrast, New York City, which has slightly more people, had fewer than 400 reported homicides for all of 2015.