The Political Section is responsible for advising the Ambassador on political developments in Honduras and on foreign policy issues affecting U.S. – Honduran relations. The section also reports to Washington on Honduran internal developments and presents U.S. views on international issues to Honduran governmental agencies.
For more information on the situation of human rights in Honduras, please visit the Human Rights Corner.
A republic since 1821, Honduras has a history of political instability and rule by the military. However, a democratic transition has been underway since 1980, when elections were held for a constituent assembly that subsequently produced Honduras’s current constitution. Free and fair elections for President, legislators, and municipal governments were held in 1981, 1985, 1989, 1993, 1997, 2001, 2005, 2009, and 2013.
Under its constitution, Honduras has three branches of government:
- a president, elected for a four year term and not subject to reelection.
- a 128 member unicameral Congress elected for a four year term.
- an independent judiciary headed by a fifteen member Supreme Court elected for a seven year term by Congress.
Since 1994, Honduras has also had a semi-autonomous Public Ministry headed by an Attorney General, who is elected by Congress every five years. The Public Ministry takes the lead in most public prosecutions, including corruption and organized crime.
Throughout the 20th century, electoral politics have been dominated by two parties, the currently ruling National Party (PN) and the main opposition Liberal Party (PL). Both parties are centrist in orientation and favor democratic institution-building, free markets, and free trade. The National Party won the November 2013 presidential elections and won a plurality in Congress.