Tegucigalpa, Nov. 4 (EFE) – The Honduran Foreign Minister, Eduardo Enrique Reina, on Saturday criticized as an “interference” the comments made by the United States Embassy in Tegucigalpa on the recent appointment of the Attorney General by the Parliament.
“We reject the interference in an internal sovereign matter,” Reina posted on social media, arguing that the recent appointment of an interim attorney general “was made legally in accordance with articles 207 and 208 of the Constitution.”
On Friday, the U.S. Embassy in Honduras posted a message on social media saying it “joins” the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in “expressing concern” over the decision to select a new attorney general “by a legislative minority” as this “undermines trust in representative democracy as expressed in the Inter-American Democratic Charter.”
A controversial appointment
The term of former Attorney General Óscar Chinchilla and his deputy Daniel Sibrián ended on August 31st, but the lack of consensus among the main political forces in the Parliament, where no party or coalition has the required qualified majority, has made it impossible to appoint a successor.
Chinchilla left the country to serve as a judge on the Central American Court of Justice in Nicaragua, and Sibrián stayed on as interim attorney general while Congress elected a successor for a five-year term.
On Tuesday at midnight, the ordinary session of the 2023 National Congress was scheduled to end and the election of the new head of the Public Prosecutor’s Office had not been achieved. The opposition demanded the extension of the ordinary session and attempted to do so themselves by entering the Congress on Tuesday night, but the supporters of the ruling party, Liberty and Refoundation, arrived at the Legislative Palace and attacked opposition deputies with bottles and stones.
Instead of extending the session, the president of Congress, Luis Redondo, formed a special commission composed of nine pro-government deputies. And on Wednesday, this commission appointed Johel Zelaya as attorney general and Mario Morazán as deputy attorney general in an interim capacity, but the opposition says sucha comission can only appoint an interim attorney general if the attorney general’s office is empty, and since Sibrián, despite having completed his term, is still at the helm, it is not empty.
Chinchilla and Sibrián were appointed with the support of former President Juan Orlando Hernández, who was extradited to the United States on April 2022, accused of using his public office, law enforcement and the military to support drug trafficking organizations. EFE