National Electoral Institute (INE) President Lorenzo Córdova. Photo: INE


On Sunday, Jan. 29, Lorenzo Córdova, head of the National Electoral Institute (INE), called on Mexicans to rebel against President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) “plan b” electoral reform by resorting to every legal option available.

During the launching of his book, “La Democracia No Se Toca,” which he co-authored with  electoral advisor Ciro Murayama, Córdova said that “now is the time to defend democracy,” and that “apathy is fertile ground for authoritarianism.”

“This is the moment in which citizens individually or collectively can — and I believe they must, we must, if we want to defend democracy — present all resources available to us, within the legal channels,” Córdova said.

“The law is the law — let’s not pretend that they themselves (members of AMLO’s leftist ruling party, the National Regeneration Movement or Morena) don’t come to me with that. Within the legal channels, we must urge those who will have to make the final decision, our constitutional judges, to make the right choice, so that they fulfill this task of deciding on the plan b electoral reform as stated in the Mexican Constitution.”

Córdova also alluded to the alleged request that Interior (SeGob) Secretary Adán Augusto López Hernández made to the Mexican Senate to “cut up” the INE through the plan b electoral reform.

“I don’t know if it is true or not about dismembering the INE, but reading the reform, it is clear to me that this is the purpose,” he said.

The INE president likewise stressed that if a certain political party had benefited the most in the last nine years from the current electoral system, “it is the party that governs us,” which is why he said he believes there is no reason to reform the system.

López Hernández, in a press conference on Monday, Jan. 30, denied having ordered members of Morena to “cut up” the INE, as Córdova declared, and said that the INE president “is a liar.”

“He should have written a book called ‘Córdova’s lies,’” said López Hernández. “The only ones who are going to be unemployed are Lorenzo and Ciro. This reform does not talk about layoffs. It does contemplate the streamlining of the INE, but that does not mean there will be layoffs.”

The INE has warned, after an internal review of the electoral reform, that more than 5,000 employees were in danger of losing their jobs.

Meanwhile, in his daily press conference on the morning of Monday, López Obrador verbally attacked Córdova, calling him “phony” and “unprincipled.”

“He is a public servant, from my point of view, without principle, without ideals, a fake,” said AMLO of the INE president. “He is not, by the way, the baddest of all that group. There are other worse ones.”

López Obrador then accused the INE of having “long been taken over by conservatives,” and that they are giving bad advice to Córdova.

“The INE has been taken over by the conservatives for a long time, by the conservative bloc, but we won despite them. That’s why when they criticize ‘plan b,’ if the court, which is even possible, rejects the electoral law, the truth is nothing would happen. It would be one more speck on the tiger,” AMLO said.

For his part, Murayama said he believes the plan b reform violates the Mexican Constitution and jeopardizes the right of citizens to vote in free and fair elections.

“I am convinced that in Mexico there is a broad citizenry that does not want to be co-responsible for authoritarianism, and as long as there is that critical and active citizenry, democracy will continue to flourish,” said Murayama.


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