2009 Honduran constitutional crisis

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The 2009 Honduran constitutional crisis[1][2][3] was a political dispute over plans to rewrite the Constitution of Honduras.

Honduran President Manuel Zelaya planned to hold a poll on a referendum on a constituent assembly to change the constitution. A majority of the government, including the Supreme Court and prominent members of Zelaya's own party, saw these plans as unconstitutional,[4][5] as they could lead to presidential re-election, which is permanently outlawed by the Honduran constitution.[6] The Honduran Supreme Court upheld a lower court injunction against 28 June poll.[7] However, the constitutional process for dealing with this situation was unclear; there were no clear procedures for removing or prosecuting a sitting president. The crisis culminated in the removal and exile of Honduran president Manuel Zelaya by the Honduran military in a coup d'état.

On the morning of 28 June 2009, approximately 100 soldiers stormed the president's residence in Tegucigalpa and put him on a plane to San José, Costa Rica. Zelaya immediately called this a "coup" upon his arrival.[8] Later that day, the National Congress voted to remove Zelaya from office, having heard read without objection a purported letter of resignation. Zelaya said the letter was forged.[9] Roberto Micheletti, the President of Congress and next in the presidential line of succession, was sworn in as interim president[10][11] and declared a "state of exception" suspending civil liberties on 1 July[12][13] and various curfews were imposed, some nationwide.[14][15]

State of emergency

On 21 September 2009, Zelaya returned in secret to Honduras, after several attempts to return had been rebuffed. It was announced that he was in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa.[16] The next day, the Micheletti government declared a state of emergency and suspended five constitutional rights for 45 days,[17] specifically:

The decree suspending human rights was officially revoked on 19 October 2009 in La Gaceta.[20]