PULSE NEWS MEXICO
The Mexican Senate over the weekend chiseled away several clauses of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) proposed Plan B to decimate the country’s most important electoral agency (and with it, weaken an already-strained national democratic process) that it considered possibly unconstitutional.
The newly revised Plan B — which AMLO devised to get around the fact that his original plan to essentially eliminate the National Electoral Institute (INE) and replace it with a body composed of his cohorts and subordinate to his office, could not get a two-thirds majority to pass — eliminates clauses that would have guaranteed funds and the political survival of the president’s leftist National Regeneration Party’s (Morena) allies, the Labor Party (PT) and the Green Party (PVEM), which most analysts considered to be in blatant violation of the Mexican Constitution.
Ricardo Monreal, leader of Morena in the Senate, reported that, as of Sunday, Dec. 11, at least 70 articles of the so-called electoral reform bill had been “identified with overtones of unconstitutionality.”
The bill, which passed in Mexico’s lower house Chamber of Deputies last week without review or even having been read by that body’s legislators, was packed with contradictory clauses and rules that would unjustly and unconstitutionally favor Morena and its satellite parties over opposition groups.
“What we do not want is that the path of this ordinary legislation should alter constitutional principles,” Monreal said.
“That would not be desirable. We are protecting the constitution and the future of democracy in Mexico.”
Among the modifications proposed in the deputies’ Plan B, which was reviewed in senatorial commissions on Monday, Dec. 12, were the elimination of the transfer of votes in electoral coalitions and a new provision for counting valid votes, which were promoted by the PT and PVEM to preserve their minority parties.
The plan even included a clause that, in the event that one of these political parties did not achieve the requisite 3 percent of valid voting in local elections, it would still have the right to public financing.
The Senate-revised Plan B would eliminate those clauses.
Former electoral councilors expressed their concern that the changes that had been proposed by the Chamber of Deputies would not guarantee free and reliable elections and would be brought up before the Supreme Court as unconstitutional.