Edited 2 July, including an important (but still inconclusive) footnote.
It is not clear how the Honduran political system would rid itself, constitutionally, of a president who was acting outside the law.
In the Shuwaring appendix (p. 452) we said:
The Chamber of Deputies establishes whether there are grounds for impeachment of the president or cabinet ministers (205:15). No extraordinary majority is stipulated.
Well, that sounds easy.
But if you go look at the constitution as it apparently now stands, you see, in Article 205:
15. Derogado por Decreto 157/2003
So I can’t say what the procedure might be now, or what it might have been before the decree (about which see below). Perhaps after the president is impeached, he is tried by the Supreme Court. This is a procedure found in many Latin American constitutions.*
And then there is the question as to why, once the president was removed by the military, congress elected its own president to replace the President of the republic, when the constitution says:
ARTICULO 242.- En las ausencias temporales del Presidente de la República lo sustituirá en sus funciones el Vicepresidente. Si la falta del Presidente fuera absoluta, el Vicepresidente ejercerá la titularidad del Poder Ejecutivo por el tiempo que le falte para terminar el período constitucional. Pero si también faltare de modo absoluto el Vicepresidente de la República, el Poder Ejecutivo será ejercido por el Presidente del Congreso Nacional y, a falta de éste, por el Presidente de la Corte Suprema de Justicia, por el tiempo que faltare para terminar el período constitucional.
Unless the Vice Presidency was vacant [see below] the congress would appear to have committed an unconstitutional act by the way in which it has sought to fill the vacated presidential office–even leaving aside the constitutional status of the vacancy itself.
Update: Now I found it: The Vice President resigned last year to run in the Liberal party primary for the next presidential election.
Micheletti era el sucesor constitucional natural de Zelaya, pues el vicepresidente Elvin Santos había renunciado para dedicarse a la campaña proselitista, ya que en las elecciones internas del año pasado fue consagrado candidato presidencial oficialista para los comicios generales de octubre próximo.
What a mess!
*Thanks to John Carey, in an e-mail, for inspiring this re-write. And to Steven Taylor, in a comment below, for noting that the decree in question is actually 175, and giving us a link where it can be found. From reading it, I still am not sure what the impeachment rules are, but it appears that the purpose of the change to the constitution is to remove privileges for the “political class,” which would imply that a president could be tried for constitutional violation even without a vote by a congressional majority. (But I am only interpreting here, with some uncertainty.)