Plan C ‘Legally, Morally Valid,’ Says AMLO

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Photo:


Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) said that it is “legally and morally valid” for the next head of the National Electoral Institute (INE) “to sympathize with Morena,” which is essentially what his Plan C is all about — pushing candidates that are sympathetic to AMLO’s leftist ruling party, the National Regeneration Movement (Morena), to occupy the INE’s top post.

On the morning of Tuesday, March 28, during his daily morning press conference, López Obrador said that even if the next INE president is a Morena sympathizer, “the most important thing is that they are impartial, upright and honest public servants.”

“To begin with, more than half of Mexican citizens sympathize with our movement. If there is an election, that half has the possibility of participating,” López Obrador said. “Even if they sympathize with our movement, they can legally occupy an INE seat because the law does not prohibit it.”

When asked by journalists if it was morally valid, the president replied that it was, “because they have the right.”

“Generally, look, very honestly and with all due respect, conservatives are very hypocritical and corrupt. They want to continue maintaining control of the INE,” he said.

López Obrador alluded to a Plan C on Monday, March 27, after his Plan B electoral law was overturned by Supreme Court (SCJN) Justice Javier Laynez.

On Monday, Laynez defended his decision, saying that AMLO’s Plan B “compromised the operation of the INE.”

“If the suspension (to Plan B) is not granted, the INE would be subject to budget adjustments, which would result in the disappearance of positions and the removal of various public servants,” Laynez said. “Therefore, there would be irreversible consequences, and the INE would not be able to fulfill the constitutional functions that it had been entrusted to serve the citizenry, especially in delivering fair and impartial elections in the country.”

Mexican journalist Carlos Loret de Mola, however, said he believes that Morena “still wants to revive Plan B,” even though López Obrador’s Plan C is already in motion.

“Plan C worked: they (AMLO and Morena) are practically guaranteed to keep the presidency of the INE, if not more,” wrote Loret de Mola in his Tuesday column for Mexican daily newspaper El Universal. “With the wind in their favor, they now want to revive Plan B, which was totally suspended by the Supreme Court of Justice.”

Loret de Mola said that while the plenary session of the Supreme Court is currently analyzing two parts of the suspended Plan B electoral law, which will culminate in a vote by the justices, “what the government wants is to rush that vote” and that “they are pushing hard for it.”

“First-level sources reveal to me that through Mexican Interior Secretary Adán Augusto López, and the two Supreme Court justices who work for the president — Yasmín Esquivel and Loretta Ortiz — the government is pressing that the vote in the SCJN of the electoral reform should happen in the first half of April,” wrote Loret de Mola. “Thus, if they lose that vote, which is foreseeable, they still have time to present it again and vote on it again in Congress, since the regular session ends on the last day of April.”

Meanwhile, Edmundo Jacobo — the embattled secretary general of the INE who was forced to step down on March 10 after Plan B was published in the government’s Official Gazette of the Federation (DOF), only to be reinstated to his post 10 days later by a Mexican federal courtofficially resigned from his post on Tuesday.

Jacobo reportedly made his decision to step down after finding out that several of the candidates competing for the INE presidency were linked to Morena. The secretary general is the right hand of whoever occupies the top post of the INE — currently held by Lorenzo Córdova — and Jacobo said he foresees “a harsh and impossible situation” if he stayed on with the electoral body.

On Monday, April 3, Córdova will step down as president of the INE.


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