Photo: Washington Post


Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) proposal to “reform” the National Electoral Institute (INE) is a threat to the country’s fragile democracy and is aimed at perpetuating the permanence in power of his left-wing National Regeneration Movement (Morena) party, the Washington Post (WP) warned in an editorial on Monday, Nov. 28.

In the editorial, which was signed by the paper’s editorial board, the Washington Post pointed out how López Obrador is mirroring the authoritarian Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) regime that ruled Mexico for 70 years and urged President Joe Biden to express to his Mexican counterpart “the interest of the United States in the survival of Mexican democracy.”

The article went on to say that AMLO’s proposals threaten the independence of the Mexican electoral system “and, with it, the transition from authoritarianism to a multi-party democracy, won with so much effort by Mexico.”

“A growing number of Mexicans rightly suspect that López Obrador is trying to perpetuate his party’s dominance, even after he ends his term in 2024, mimicking the authoritarian system that prevailed under the Institutional Revolutionary Party for the 20th century.”

The WP urged Biden not to remain indifferent to the matter.

“Neither the Biden administration, nor the U.S. Congress, nor the U.S. public in general should remain indifferent to these developments. The United States has many interests in Mexico — trade, energy, migration, drug trafficking — but none is more important than ensuring that democracy flourish,” the editorial said.

Just two weeks ago, the Biden administration said it was aware of the million-person-strong Mexican citizen march in defense of the INE, noting that independent electoral organizations are the cornerstone of democracy. However, the  Washington Post implored Biden to communicate U.S. sentiment directly to López Obrador.

“Next month’s North American Leaders Summit with López Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides President Biden with an opportunity to deliver that message in person and unequivocally,” the editorial said.

The editorial also said that the Washington Post agrees with the assessment made by the report presented by the Venice Commission, the European Union’s body specializing in elections and democracy, that the proposal to reform the INE would “undermine the confidence that exists in the Mexican electoral system.”

After the citizen march against the proposed reforms for the INE, López Obrador called a statement issued by the U.S. Department of State on the independence of electoral bodies “a form of interference in the internal affairs of Mexico.”

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