Photo: INE

By KELIN DILLON

After repeated contention between Mexico’s autonomous National Electoral Institute (INE) and the administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), which resulted in the National Regeneration Movement-led (Morena) Chamber of Deputies attempting to slash the INE’s budget by 5 billion pesos amid the country’s mandate revocation controversy, the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJN) – Mexico’s highest court – ruled to repeal the budget cut on Monday, June 1, following an appeal by from the INE.

The SCJN determined that, due to the lack of the Chamber of Deputies’ explicit explanation of the budget cuts, the INE’s full 2022 budget should be reinstated

Once the SCJN’s ruling has been officially received, the Chamber of Deputies will have 45 days to analyze and re-approve the INE’s budget within the court’s new parameters.

“By generating a risk of affecting the budgetary autonomy of the INE, a reinforced motivation standard had to be met that would account for the objective and justified reasons for making a reduction, above all, since two relevant guarantees were at stake, such as budgetary autonomy of the autonomous constitutional bodies and the protection of the political-electoral rights of citizens,” read the decision, making a passive reference to AMLO’s previously declared public intentions to defund the INE and absorb it into the government’s jurisdiction.

“The vice of unconstitutionality arises from the lack of real, objective, reasonable and explicit evaluation of the proposal presented and the lack of justifications in the merit opinion to consider that it was effectively motivated,” the SCJN ruling went on to say.

Following the decision, the INE’s principal electoral advisors – like the institution’s presidentp Lorenzo Córdova – celebrated the SCJN ruling as a victory.

“Today the Supreme Court issued a fundamental resolution for the democratic rule of law,” said Córdova at the time. “This ruling sets an important precedent for the strengthening of constitutional democracy.”

As the Chamber of Deputies is currently out of session for the summer, it’s expected the budgetary issue will be resolved when it reconvenes this coming September.

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