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Mexico’s Supreme Court (SCJN) admitted several lawsuits filed by various political parties and legislators against President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) controversial Plan B electoral reform that essentially aims to eliminate the country’s National Electoral Institute (INE). A total of 79 appeals against AMLO’s electoral reform have been filed in the SCJN.

Several of the unconstitionality appeals were turned over to Supreme Court Justice Alberto Pérez Dayán for analysis.

Among the appeals turned over to Pérez Dayán were those filed by the conservative National Action Party (PAN), the left-leaning Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), the Citizen’s Movement Party (MC), the INE and by deputies and senators who consider that López Obrador’s electoral reforms weaken and violate the autonomy of Mexico’s most important democratic electoral body.

The appeals filed are against the reforms to the General Law of Social Communication and the General Law of Administrative Responsibilities, which form the first package of electoral reforms approved last December by Congress.

One of the arguments of unconstitutionality against the electoral reform also zeroes in on the fast-tracking by AMLO’s very own leftist ruling party, the National Regeneration Movement (Morena), of Plan B in Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies, which left no time for discussion of the electoral reform before it was approved.

Opposition legislators, speaking to Mexican daily newspaper El Universal, said they support the initiative of PAN Senator Damián Zepeda, which seeks to establish a maximum period of 90 days for the SCJN to resolve the appeals of unconstitutionality and constitutional controversies.

“What is happening in Mexico is that the most important issues at the national level that are voted on in the legislature end up in the Supreme Court, or at least part of them are doing the president’s dirty work and leaving out the highest-priority issues,” said Damián Zepeda.

MC Senator Juan Manuel Zepeda likewise supports speeding up the resolutions on unconstitutionality, and clarified that this was not an attack on the autonomy or independence of the Supreme Court, because it is not being asked to rule on a law, but rather prevents a law from entering into force due to “omission or negligence” that would cause irreparable damage to society.

“It is plausible, prudent and appropriate that a term be set in the legislature, so that the appeals are expedited,” said Juan Manuel Zepeda.

The Mexican Bishops’ Conference (CEM) also expressed its concern about López Obrador’s Plan B, through a video message from Ramón Castro Castro, secretary general of the CEM.

“Given the controversy of the Plan B electoral reform that is being discussed in Congress, the bishops of Mexico express our concern over various allegations that have been made about irregularities in the legislative process and on the content of amendments to various electoral laws,” Castro said. “We cannot stress enough the importance of the institutions responsible for electoral processes, such as the INE, and the right of citizens to a free and fair elections.”

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