March 22, 2023

Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has defended a controversial invoice that may lower the funds of the nation’s electoral company and weaken oversight of marketing campaign spending.

“All of that is a part of regular politics in a democracy,” Lopez Obrador mentioned of the laws on Thursday.

Lopez Obrador mentioned he expects court docket challenges to the invoice, like these beforehand filed towards lots of his administration’s reforms. However he added that the laws would survive them as a result of none of it was “exterior the regulation”.

The president, who has lengthy criticized the company for costing taxpayers an excessive amount of and paying excessive salaries, mentioned he would signal the brand new invoice into regulation although electoral authorities say it might weaken democracy in Mexico.

The invoice was authorized late on Wednesday by Mexico’s Senate in a 72-50 vote.

The brand new regulation would lower salaries and funding for native election workplaces and cut back coaching for residents who function and oversee polling stations. It will additionally reduce sanctions for candidates who fail to report marketing campaign spending.

Mexico will maintain its presidential election subsequent 12 months, however Mexican presidents are restricted to a single, six-year time period by the nation’s structure, so López Obrador is not going to be operating.

Whereas Lopez Obrador was nonchalant in regards to the court docket challenges, up to now he has continuously attacked Mexico’s judiciary and claimed that the judges are a part of a conservative conspiracy towards his administration.

Elections in Mexico are costly by worldwide requirements, partially as a result of nearly all authorized marketing campaign financing is, by regulation, equipped by the federal government.

The electoral institute additionally points the safe voter ID playing cards which might be probably the most generally accepted type of identification in Mexico, and oversees balloting in distant and sometimes harmful corners of the nation.

Protests are already deliberate towards the reform in a number of cities in Mexico, inspired by the electoral institute itself.

Federico Estevez, a retired political science professor on the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico, mentioned the opposition’s claims that Lopez Obrador is “dismantling democracy” are exaggerated.

“It isn’t about undoing democracy. It is a totally different conception of democracy,” Estevez instructed the Related Press information company. “It is extra majoritarian, and fewer depending on insufficient, unproductive and mistaken elites.”

Lopez Obrador stays extremely fashionable in Mexico, with approval scores of about 60 p.c. A part of his fashionable enchantment comes from railing towards high-paid authorities bureaucrats, and he has been angered by the truth that some high electoral officers are paid greater than the president.

López Obrador proposed his legislative initiative, generally known as “Plan B”in December after he didn’t receive sufficient votes in Congress for even deeper electoral adjustments that may have altered the dimensions and make-up of Congress.

The president has repeatedly denied that the reform package deal might put elections in Mexico in danger.

López Obrador and his supporters have been crucial of the electoral institute since 2006, when he misplaced the presidency by 0.56 p.c of the vote. He denounced his defeat as fraudulent and he and his supporters launched a mass protest motion in response.

“That is nonetheless pushed by his grievances from these years,” Estevez famous.

López Obrador later gained the presidency by a large margin in 2018.

Many in Mexico see the electoral institute as a key pillar of the nation’s trendy democracy since 2000.

Lopez Obrador’s ruling morena occasion is favored in subsequent 12 months’s nationwide elections and the opposition is in disarray, which would appear to provide the president little incentive to assault the electoral institute.

Lorenzo Cordova, the institute’s chief, has been a frequent goal of Lopez Obrador and has aggressively defended the company.

Earlier than Wednesday’s vote, Cordova wrote on his Twitter account that the reforms “search to chop hundreds of people that work day by day to ensure reliable elections, one thing that may after all pose a threat for future elections”.

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