By KELIN DILLON
Just one day after the massive Sunday, Nov. 13, march in Mexico City in support of the Mexican National Electoral Institute (INE), Mexico’s centralist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) has seemingly rescinded on its previous promise to work with the in-power National Regeneration Movement (Morena) to pass a controversial constitutional electoral reform, and is now publicly proclaiming its choice to side with the Mexican electorate’s demonstrated wish to reject the reform and instead uphold the autonomous organization’s impartiality.
According to PRI President Alejandro “Alito” Moreno, the party’s representatives in the Chamber of Deputies will now vote against the electoral reform as it attempts to be passed through Mexican congress, a move likely motivated by the huge citizen turnout of an estimated 500,000 people at Sunday’s March for Democracy.
“The INE will be defended in the Chamber of Deputies,” said Moreno. “We are ready and attentive to run the legislative process in the Chamber. We are clear in our position.”
“We join the call against the government that seeks to threaten the autonomy of the electoral authorities!” added the PRI leader.
The announcement comes after Moreno found himself a target of Sunday’s protest, as peaceful demonstrators in Mexico City accused the PRI president of trying to “save his skin” by collaborating with Morena – both on the electoral reform and legislation extending the power of the Mexican Armed Forces – after he faced numerous scandals and attempts to be ousted from his position as the head of the party.
Moreno’s flip-flopping on the electoral reform has been met with skepticism, as daily Mexican newspaper Reforma political analyst F. Bartholomé posed the question in his Tuesday, Nov. 15 column: “Can Alito be believed?”
“It is NOT because I distrust anyone, but more than once the PRI leader has said one thing … and he has ordered his party to do the opposite,” wrote Bartholomé. “The clearest example is the way in which he broke the alliance with the National Action Party (PAN) and Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) , breaking the moratorium on constitutional reforms by supporting the militarist initiative of the federal government.”
As the electoral reform saga continues to unfold across the country, it remains to be seen what Moreno and the PRI’s ultimate choice will be when the vote on the reform finally reaches the Chamber of Deputies.