A few months to the election of the new attorney general and deputy attorney general of the Public Ministrysome sectors of the country insist on the need to have an independent and autonomous body, while others assure that everything is already “cooked” by the political parties in the National Congress.
The Constitution indicates that the new authorities must be elected before September 1. From the Legislative Power, by qualified majority (86 votes) they will choose two out of five candidates presented by the Proposing Board, which has a deadline for sending the payroll, 30 days before the end of the corresponding period.
Through sources consulted within the National Congress, it was learned that the conversations about the election remain “lukewarm” because the Proposing Board has not yet sent names and surnames; however, congressmen already in their private circles are assessing some professional profiles and political affinities that could enter the process.
- Advertisement -
One of the strongest scenarios is that the attorney general will be someone from Libre, the party that is in the country’s presidency and has the majority in Congress, while the deputy prosecutor would remain in the hands of the National Party, the second political force, while the director of prosecutors will be a liberal.
From civil society it is said that this process will not be different from the previous ones due to favoritism and sectarianism. Some 30 years have passed since the Organic Law of the Public Ministry was approved and the population still demands a fiscal entity focused on the priorities imposed by the reality of the country.
The constitutional lawyer Juan Carlos Barrientos assured that the choice of the prosecutor is unsuccessful, since applying the same procedures will have the same results.
“The problem is that the Proposing Board is already contaminated with politics,” the legal analyst pointed out, while recalling that it is nothing new that the government party ends up winning the Supreme Court of Justice, the National Congress and the Prosecutor’s Office.
- Advertisement -
The Proposing Board will have greater discretion than the one exercised by the Nominating Board, since it will prepare its own regulations for the election. In February 2022, the new magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice were divided between Libre, National and Liberal parties.
- Advertisement -
For Barrientos, although there are ways to change this ill-fated party tradition, it is not convenient for politicians to do otherwise.
In contrast, the deputy of Libre, Ramón Barrios, affirmed that those selected in the Proposing Board are not contaminated by politics and were elected as required by the Constitution.
The congressman commented that to date they do not have “any anointed” since the payroll has not yet been sent. The deputy affirmed that for the moment they have only held informal talks between the different benches in Congress, but it will be until the final list is received that the conversations will begin to reach consensus.
“The correlation of forces forces us to sit with the National, Liberal and Salvadoran parties of Honduras, and although we are more in the Legislature, we do not even have a simple majority,” he acknowledged.
The legislator added that they will seek to elect a general attorney who meets the ideals of representing the Honduran people.
Óscar Fernando Chinchilla has days of management left at the head of the Public Ministry. On September 1, he will deliver the position as mandated by the magna carta.
The Proposing Board has barely had its first meeting and they are in the process of reordering after naming the commissions, informed Julio Raudales, representative of the private universities.
“We have not made the call yet. This is a Proposing Board made up of good professionals and at least I am not contaminated by politics as they claim”, exclaimed the economist.
While the lobbying begins to take root, from the business section, through Paola Díaz, executive director of the Tegucigalpa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIT), it is recalled that having an independent and competent Public Ministry is essential.
“It is important that Congress follow the processes according to our legal framework, without the influence of any other power of the State, government institution or political force,” he stated.
“ “A prosecutor will never be able to fight corruption, it will be necessary to have the Cicih.” “
Ramón Barrios, deputy of Libre
The businesswoman from the Central District fears that if there is no transparent process, she will end up falling into an environment of mistrust that slows down the social and economic development of Honduras, affecting trust and legal security in a favorable environment to attract investment and create new jobs. .
From the point of view of the academy, the restoration of the institutional framework is fundamental, since it is thought that there has been a deterioration in the administration of justice.
Armando Orellana, Professor of Political Science at the Francisco Morazán National Pedagogical University (UPNFM), stressed that leadership is required both at the level of the ruling party and the opposition, as well as a transparent process and adhering to the law to make the choice.
“We need suitable profiles for the position, with experience and strong criminal knowledge, to be valued,” he said.
“ “Whenever a party wins the presidency, it also wins the MP, it’s nothing new.” “
Juan Carlos Barrientos, constitutional lawyer
The teacher accepts that pressure groups and influence networks have a great impact on the treatment of the election of the Public Ministry.
“In the past there were factual groups that tampered with the selection in this type of responsibilities. We know that these groups are protagonists, taking into account that in the country there is a deep debate and regulations that are incapable of preventing the manipulation of political and economic elites”, he pointed out.
The election of the prosecutor is very narrow with giving up certain positions, so it will be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel, so believes the sociologist Jorge Larios in the department of Cortés.
“We continue with more of the same, what has changed are the political leaders who are going to finish deciding, in the end it will be Congress who determines how it happened with the Supreme Court of Justice,” he said.
Larios lamented that professional qualification is put at risk in exchange for political interests and mentioned, citing a National Party deputy, that Libre offered the Liberal Party the attorney general, but the institution, due to fear of disappearing, rejected some kind of of alliance, since its bases do not agree with these negotiations.
“ “This is a board made up of good professionals. I am not polluted.” “
Julio Raudales, Proposing Board
The interviewees agreed that fiscal independence is a citizen aspiration, however, they are aware that the political culture of election in these relevant positions is difficult to break.
Even so, the hope is maintained to continue putting the finger on the sore to press for an impartial and independent justice. The critical observation of the population and civil society is key in the framework of guaranteeing the correct application of functions, as well as the auditing role of the media.
It is concluded that respect for the payroll by Congress, citizen participation through the presentation of blemishes and complaints, as well as the final evaluation and the correct filling of the matrix, will be crucial factors in the selection process, since even passing With the knowledge test and public hearings, each member of this multisector block will have a degree of discretion.