Correspondent in Mexico City
By a narrow majority of six votes to five, the General Council of the National Electoral Institute of Mexico (INE) has suspended the revocation of the mandate of the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO). This electoral body has expressed the lack of funds as the main reason for postponing this referendum.
The revocation refers to a Mexican democratic act incorporated two years ago by which the population chooses whether a government official – in this case the president of the country – remains or is dismissed from the position he holds. An electoral exercise that would have to be carried out with all the guarantees. Due to the flagrant absence of these, the Electoral Institute has refused to continue with the vote that se would have to celebrate on April 10, 2022. Lorenzo Córdova, president of the INE, assures that the consultation is not being canceled but only delayed until sufficient resources arrive.
Córdova would have repeatedly expressed the insufficiency in the budget due to the last cut of almost five million pesos – about 213,000 euros – for next year’s vote. “It is an agreement that seeks to find certainty for the exercise of citizen democracy,” he said.
The INE counselor, Jaime River, explained that the effort to adjust spending has been “insufficient”, “so insufficient that it forces us to make provisions for administrative and legal responsibility.” The call to the polls will be suspended until there is sufficient funds that should come from the State, but that for now implies a limited number of urns. This reduction of the consultation would be affected by the volume of opinions that may come in favor or against so that the Mexican president concludes his six-year term or not.
Under the premise “the people take away, the people put down,” the consultation was one of the president’s electoral promises. Upon coming to power, AMLO promised that he would submit to this scrutiny in the middle of his term, which was fulfilled on December 1, 2018. It was precisely Obrador through a reform of the Mexican Constitution, which he achieved a year after being elected, the one that created the revocation of mandate.
Perhaps the greatest nonsense of this new law, which Morena brought, is the inclusion of a precept that is almost impossible to comply with when faced with a consultation lacking in interest among the population: “40% of the people registered on the nominal list of voters »to cause its effects. A mobilization that would affect more than 37 million Mexicans as potential voters.
The Mexican president once again shows an excessive interest in these popular votes that usually have no effect, as demonstrated by the participation, which did not reach 8%, in the plebiscite held last August on the possibility of investigating former presidents for crimes committed during their governments.
The suspension of the recall has caused controversy and commotion among the Mexican political class, subjected to tensions between López Obrador’s (Morena) party and the opposition. Marko Cortés, president of the PAN (National Action Party), has stated that the Government intends to remove the budget from the INE, but “they want it to organize its whims.” “They blame democracy at once when they have attacked and violated their autonomy.” Cortés went further and holds Morena responsible for the lack of resources and for attacking the autonomy of the INE. The PAN also accused Morena of substituting the term ratification instead of renewal to obtain the necessary signatures to carry out the vote.
For its part, López Obrador’s party has defined the suspension of the consultation as a “blow to participatory democracy.” Mario Delgado, leader of the party, accuses the INE of “giving up its constitutional responsibility.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism