I have noted many times that what happened in Honduras was a military coup, notwithstanding that there is no military junta governing the country in the aftermath. At PoliBlog, a commenter asks what is the political science definition of a military junta, and why doesn’t the current Honduran situation meet a dictionary definition of “the rule of a military or political group after taking power by force.”
Good question. My response is that my very specific understanding of a junta is that it is a governing council of active-duty military officers, who assume the role of the executive and usually also the legislative branch.
Sometimes there is a civilian-military junta, as after the Salvadoran coup of 1979. But that means still that there is an executive council that consists at least in part of military officers.
So, while I have argued all along that this event in Honduras was a military coup, I do not think the current de-facto governing situation qualifies as a military junta. There is a single executive official who is actually the constitutional civilian successor to the president–what makes it illegal is that the military, rather than the constitutional process–overthrew, by force, the rightful president. And, of course, the legislature still functions, at least formally.
So Honduras has had a military coup, but does not have a military junta. At least for now.
Or is my definition too narrow?
And I suppose another relevant question is how do you pronounce “junta” in English?