Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Photo: presidencia.gob.mx

By KELIN DILLON

Mexican Electoral Councilor Jaime Rivera Velázquez of the National Electoral Institute (INE) said it will hold president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), to the electoral standards of the Mexican Constitution.

AMLO has caught flack repeatedly for speaking out against opponents during his daily press conferences, something that defies constitutional law in Mexico.

The president has been particularly vocal against the alliance between several opposition parties to his own National Regeneration Party (Morena), the National Action Party (PAN), the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD).

In 2007, reforms were made to Mexican electoral standards by the INE to prohibit the use of radio and television time slots for election propaganda, and against presidential meddling. 

These reforms were made partially in response to AMLO’s own reaction after his loss of the 2006 presidential election. Now, they will be used against him. 

The Complaints Commission of the INE had previously issued a preventative protection warning to AMLO on Friday, Dec. 5, advising him to no longer interfere in electoral matters.

AMLO commented on this order during his daily press conference on Tuesday, Dec. 8, maintaining his right to defend himself against statements made by political opponents.

The Mexican president said that if the INE told him to, he would remain silent, but said that this would be “unfair.”

López Obrador stated that staying quiet would “curtail (his) freedoms,” saying he believes that he does “have the freedom” and “must exercise it to clarify, argue and reply” to his opponents.

According to Rivera Velázquez, INE will apply Article 134 of the Mexican Constitution to the president. This article prohibits the president of Mexico from “using public resources in favor or against a party,” as well as “personalized propaganda” and “speaking for or against any party.”

Rivera Velázquez said while the application of these laws may seem “restrictive,” Article 134 of the constitution is “very clear and so is the law.”

…Dec. 10, 2020

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