Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Photo:


Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) on Thursday, Dec. 15, threatened to veto his own Plan B initiative to essentially eradicate the National Electoral Institute (INE) — which just had passed in the Senate one day earlier — unless the clauses giving eternal existence to his leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena) party’s minority allies are eliminated.

Speaking during his daily press conference at the National Palace on Thursday, AMLO said that the part of his so-called Plan B electoral reform — which he himself devised to circumvent the fact that his original plan to eliminate the INE could not get enough support for the two-thirds majority needed to pass a constitutional change through Congress and which currently allows for Morena’s satellite rubber-stampers (the Labor Party and the Green Party) to transfer votes and monies from previous elections to keep their legal status even in the case that they do not meet the 3 percent necessary to do in accordance with the Mexican Constitution — he would consider resorting to a pocket veto.

These particular clauses, which were added by Mexico’s lower house Chamber of Deputies and were originally eliminated by the Senate only to be reinstated before Plan B was approved late Wednesday night, constitute the most blatant — but not the only — potentially unconstitutional segments of AMLO’s so-called electoral reform and could be grounds for Mexico’s Supreme Court to nullify the bill.

AMLO said that if these clauses are not removed from the final legislation, he would consider “vetoing it, on a matter of principle, because we are democrats.”

He went on to say that such “cheating maneuvers” as the proposed clauses should not be allowed since they constitute the same types of tactics that he claimed are used by opposition parties.

If López Obrador were to use the pocket veto to not sign the Plan B legislation into law, it could cancel the entire bill.

According to the Mexican Interior Secretariat’s Legislative Information System, the executive has three types of vetoes at his disposal: a full veto that would send an initiative back to Congress to be redrafted, a partial veto that allows him to modify a law by eliminating part of it or modifying individual provisions, and a pocket veto, which happens when the president simply refuses to sign a legislation into law.

Not surprisingly, within hours of AMLO’s threat, the Chamber of Deputies removed the clauses that would have given eternal life to Morena’s satellite parties.

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