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Following an extended controversy with Mexico’s autonomous organization the National Electoral Institute (INE), especially surrounding the upcoming mandate revocation process, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) took to his daily morning press conference on Tuesday, March 29, to announce his intentions to reform Mexican legislation to grant electoral magistrates and judges their seats through a public election, in a move that López Obrador said should prevent bias and political leanings in the electoral process.

“We are going to send an initiative to reform the Mexican Constitution to guarantee democracy, that there are no longer judges with biased attitudes in electoral matters, that is, that there are no counselors or magistrates who do not have a democratic vocation, and that free voting is guaranteed, that there is no electoral fraud,” said López Obrador at the time. “Let the people elect them, with an open vote.”

To accomplish the reform, AMLO said the federal government will propose 60 candidates in total – three for each electoral counselor position, and at least half of the group women – that the general public can choose to vote for in open elections, with the candidate earning the most votes to take the spot as president of the council. While the details of the magistrate electoral process have not been fully revealed, López Obrador said the voting process should be similar to that of the electoral counselors.

The move comes just days after the Electoral Court of the Judicial Power of the Federation (TEPJF) annulled AMLO’s decree that allowed for the government’s promotion of the mandate revocation against the executive’s wishes, further prohibiting AMLO’s administration from disseminating “government propaganda” until the mandate revocation process is complete. 

“How an electoral court is going to be against the dissemination of a consultation, a plebiscite, a referendum, is a paradox, contradictory, it is absurd, in addition to being anti-democratic,” López Obrador initially responded to the TEPJF’s decision.

Now, the security of the TEPJF magistrates’ positions may be up in the air after their ruling, as AMLO said he plans to follow through on this newly proposed reform after the mandate revocation is held on April 10.

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