Weekly Report - 27 January 2022 (WR-22-04)

HONDURAS: Crisis erupts ahead of Castro’s inauguration

Hopes for a smooth transition following November’s election, which delivered a landslide victory for Xiomara Castro and the leftist opposition Partido Libertad y Refundación (Libre) [WR-21-48], have proven premature. Days before Castro was due to receive the presidential sash from President Juan Orlando Hernández, ending over a decade of conservative Partido Nacional (PN) rule, Libre fractured over the election of the new president of congress, resulting in rival congress leaders being declared, one of whom was PN-backed. The rebellion by 18 Libre legislators, since expelled from the party, not only undermines the authority of Castro, who takes office on 27 January, it also significantly reduces Libre’s presence in the new 128-seat congress. The inauguration of two separate congress sessions by rival congress presidents has sparked a constitutional crisis, casting doubt over the legitimacy of both and dealing a further blow to the country’s institutions which have yet to recover following the 2009 coup which ejected Castro’s husband Manuel Zelaya (2006-2009).

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