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

By KELIN DILLON

Mexico’s Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judicial Power (TEPJF) decided in a majority vote on Wednesday, Feb. 18, to reverse the decision made by the National Electoral Institute (INE) to prevent public servants, particularly Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), from speaking publicly about Mexico’s electoral process as the nation approaches its midterm elections this June.

The TEPJF said AMLO had not given any indication he would repeat the infractions that caused the INE’s decision in the first place, and to hold up the decision without a prior substantial study would act as a form of censorship against López Obrador rather than a precautionary measure. 

The court also mentioned in its reversal that the INE’s decision was made specifically to limit AMLO, and not all public servants as the independent electoral organization’s original decision read.

López Obrador celebrated the TEPJF’s reversal in his press conference the same morning, saying the INE’s decision was spurred by “a lack of impartiality.” AMLO notably has been working to absorb independent organizations such as the electoral institute into the government, claiming them to be “inefficient and corrupt.”

The INE previously leveraged the restrictions against López Obrador following his repeated vocal distaste for political parties opposing his own National Regeneration Movement (Morena) during his public press conferences, which allegedly violated Article 134 of the Mexican Constitution, which specifically 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.”  

…Feb. 19, 2021

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