Honduras/Government

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The 1982 constitution provides for a strong executive, a unicameral National Congress, and a judiciary appointed by the National Congress. The president is directly elected to a 4-year term by popular vote. The congress also serves a 4-year term; congressional seats are assigned the parties' candidates in proportion to the number of votes each party receives. The judiciary includes a Supreme Court of Justice, courts of appeal, and several courts of original jurisdiction -- such as labor, tax, and criminal courts. For administrative purposes, Honduras is divided into 18 departments, with departmental and municipal officials selected for 2-year terms.

Reinforced by the media and several political watchdog organizations, human rights and civil liberties are reasonably well protected. There are no known political prisoners in Honduras and the privately owned media frequently exercises its right to criticize without fear of reprisals. Organized labor now represents less than 15% of the work force and its economic and political influence has declined. Honduras held its fifth consecutive democratic elections in November 1997, to elect a new President, unicameral Congress, and mayors; for the first time, voters were able to cast separate ballots for each office.

Political Parties
The two major parties -- the Liberal Party and the National Party -- run active campaigns throughout the country. Their ideologies are mostly centrist, with diverse factions in each centered on personalities. The three smaller registered parties -- the Christian Democratic Party, the Innovation and Unity Party, and the Democratic Unification Party --- remain marginal, slightly left-of-center groupings with few campaign resources and little organization. Despite significant progress in training and installing more skillful advisers at the top of each party ladder, electoral politics in Honduras remain traditionalist and paternalistic. Honduras will hold its next general elections -- which will choose the nation's next President, Congress, and mayors -- in November 2001.

Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Honduras
conventional short form: Honduras
local long form: Republica de Honduras
local short form: Honduras

Data code: HO

Government type: democratic constitutional republic

Capital: Tegucigalpa

Administrative divisions: 18 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); Atlantida, Choluteca, Colon, Comayagua, Copan, Cortes, El Paraiso, Francisco Morazan, Gracias a Dios, Intibuca, Islas de la Bahia, La Paz, Lempira, Ocotepeque, Olancho, Santa Barbara, Valle, Yoro

Independence: 15 September 1821 (from Spain)

National holiday: Independence Day, 15 September (1821)

Constitution: 11 January 1982, effective 20 January 1982; amended 1995

Legal system: rooted in Roman and Spanish civil law with increasing influence of English common law; recent judicial reforms include abandoning Napoleonic legal codes in favor of the oral adversarial system; accepts ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Carlos Roberto Flores Facusse (since 27 January 1998); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Carlos Roberto Flores Facusse (since 27 January 1998); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held 30 November 1997 (next to be held 30 November 2001)
election results: Carlos Roberto Flores Facusse elected president; percent of vote - Carlos Roberto Flores Facusse (PL) 50%, Nora de Melgar (PNH) 40%, other 10%

Legislative branch: unicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional (128 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held on 30 November 1997 (next to be held 30 November 2001)
election results: percent of vote by party - PL 46%, PN 38%, PINU-SD 4%, PDC 2%, PUD 2%; seats by party - PL 67, PN 55, PINU-SD 3, PDC 2, PUD 1

Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia, judges are elected for four-year terms by the National Congress

Political parties and leaders: Christian Democratic Party or PDC [Arturo Corrales Alvarez, president]; Democratic Unification Party or PUD [Gustavo Garcia Espana, president]; Honduran National Party or PNH [leader NA]; Liberal Party or PL [Jorge Reina, president]; National Innovation and Unity Party-Social Democratic Party or PINU-SD [Olban Valladares, president]; National Party of Honduras or PN [Porfirio Lobo Sega, president]

Political pressure groups and leaders: Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in Honduras or CODEH; Confederation of Honduran Workers or CTH; Coordinating Committee of Popular Organizations or CCOP; General Workers Confederation or CGT; Honduran Council of Private Enterprise or COHEP; National Association of Honduran Campesinos or ANACH; National Union of Campesinos or UNC; United Federation of Honduran Workers or FUTH

International organization participation: BCIE, CACM, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITU, LAES, LAIA (observer), MINURSO, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Hugo Noe Pino
chancery: 3007 Tilden Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 966-7702
FAX: [1] (202) 966-9751
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico), Tampa
consulate(s): Boston, Detroit, and Jacksonville

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Frank Almaguer
embassy: Avenida La Paz, Apartado Postal No. 3453, Tegucigalpa
mailing address: American Embassy, APO AA 34022, Tegucigalpa
telephone: [504] 238-5114, 326-9320
FAX: [504] 236-9037 Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), white, and blue with five blue five-pointed stars arranged in an X pattern centered in the white band; the stars represent the members of the former Federal Republic of Central America - Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua; similar to the flag of El Salvador, which features a round emblem encircled by the words REPUBLICA DE EL SALVADOR EN LA AMERICA CENTRAL centered in the white band; also similar to the flag of Nicaragua, which features a triangle encircled by the word REPUBLICA DE NICARAGUA on top and AMERICA CENTRAL on the bottom, centered in the white band