By KELIN DILLON
In a decision made on Sunday, Jan. 1, the Political Coordination Board (Jucopo) of Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies unanimously agreed to delay the selection of four new directors to the country’s autonomous National Electoral Institute (INE) until it can officially modify its search criteria when the Chamber of Deputies’ regular session resumes in February, heeding the orders of Mexico’s highest electoral court, the Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judiciary (TEPJF).
The TEPJF initially ordered the Chamber of Deputies to alter its appointment process of the INE officials in question back on Dec. 24, when it requested that the lower legislative house modify its search criteria for the electoral personnel to include gender-equity provisions and make clear distinctions between applications for the various vacant positions, as well as guarantee the autonomy of the Technical Evaluation Committee throughout the appointment process.
According to Jucopo president and the National Regeneration Movement’s (Morena) parliamentary coordinator Ignacio Mier, the INE electoral process will not be resolved until on or after Feb. 1 – meaning that aspiring candidates will no longer be allowed to register applications for the vacant positions on Jan. 9 as initially scheduled.
“It will be the plenary session of the Chamber of Deputies that determines the terms of the call once the regular session begins. All the stages considered are suspended, both in the summons for applications and the integration process of the Technical Evaluation Committee,” said Mier at the time. “The procedure is totally suspended until the plenary session pronounces itself.”
“As the lawyers say, subjudice, it remains in abeyance,” added Mier, noting that the lower legislative house would have 58 days from the start of its regular session to complete the appointment process, a process that takes an average of between 42 and 46 days.
However, despite the Chamber of Deputies’ compliance with the TEPJF order, Mier went on to criticize the electoral court for purportedly overstepping its legal boundaries with its request.
“The Electoral Court carried out actions that constitute a systematic violation of the Mexican Constitution and a violation and interference with legislative power,” concluded Mier. “For this reason we are going to initiate the legal path that allows us to set a limit to the TEPJF.”