The current president Porfirio Lobo of the PNH won the presidency in the 2009 elections. These elections were not on the schedule, however they came about as a resolution to the crisis which had lead to forcible removal of the then president Manuel Zelaya in June 2009. In the interim the country was lead by president , Roberto Micheletti, however, he was not recognized internationally.
The political crisis in Honduras triggered mass protests, demonstrations and a suspension of multilateral finance and membership of the OAS (Organisation of American States). The country returned to normal after the formation of the current government. The international relations were restored slowly as the US, IMF and World Bank have announced intention to restore funding to the country.
Further back in history, Honduras experienced a military coup in 1963 when the democratically elected government was overthrown. This started an event of military actions which ended after two decades in 1981 when Honduras shifted to a democratic government.
Currently, Honduras has five registered political parties:
- National Party (Partido Nacional de Honduras: PNH)
- Liberal Party (Partido Liberal de Honduras: PLH)
- Social Democrats (Partido Innovación y Unidad-Social Demócrata: PINU-SD)
- Social Christians (Partido Demócrata-Cristiano de Honduras: DCH)
- Democratic Unification (Partido Unificación Democrática)
Out of the five parties, two parties have dominated the political scenario since the return of democratic set up - Partido Nacional and the Partido Liberal
(Source: Country Studies)
Regulatory environment in Honduras
The government in Honduras is based on a Constitutional Republic framework which means that the head of the state is the representative of the people, chosen by the people and is bound to govern by the constitutional law.
The country’s economic freedom score is 58.3, making its economy the 99th freest in the 2010 Index. Honduras ranks 20th out of 29 regional countries in the Central and South America.
The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) is a survey to measure the perceived level of corruption across countries worldwide. Honduras is ranked 130th on this list which indicates that the corruption levels in public departments in the country are fairly high, especially when compared to neighbouring nations such as El Salvador and Guatemala.
Honduras has slipped on the CPI rankings since 2008, when it was ranked 126th with a score of 2.6.
Freedom of information
Media in Honduras is restricted. For example, journalists in the country may be asked to reveal sources. Therefore they must work to avoid offending politicalor economic interests of media owners.
World Press Freedom Index 2009 ranks Honduras at 128th rank with a score of 42.00 which indicates that media in Honduras is restricted.
The judiciary in Honduras consists of:
- Courts of first instance (Juzgados de Letras)
The Supreme Court is the highest court of justice. It has nine principal justices and seven alternates. The Supreme Court has three chambers, civil, criminal, and labour, and each chamber is assigned three judges. Furthermore, the court has fourteen constitutional powers and duties which include:
- Appointment of judges and justices of the lower courts and public prosecutors
- The power to declare laws to be unconstitutional;
- Power to try high-ranking government officials when the National Congress has declared that there are grounds for impeachment
- Publication of the court's official record.
(Source: Country Studies)