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Mexico’s ‘election reform’ will make elections less secure

When mexican The president decides he wants to do something, and he doesn’t give up easily.Andrés Manuel López Obrador has long been eager to weaken Mexico’s electoral body, the National Election Agency, known as the nuclear power. He has held a grudge against it since 2006, when he claimed nuclear power Vote rigging in the presidential election saw him lose by 0.6 percentage points to center-right politician Felipe Calderón. There is no evidence that this is true.

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Mr López Obrador’s resolve has grown stronger in the face of mounting opposition.After tens of thousands of protesters marched in November against his cuts nuclear powerThe size, staff and budget of the 2019-2019, he has protested of his own — questionable use of government funds to do so. When he failed to secure the two-thirds majority needed in the House of Commons for his initial proposals to amend the constitution, he reinstated a package of laws that required only a simple majority to pass.

The House of Lords voted to approve the package, which amended more than 450 sections of five existing laws and introduced a new piece of legislation, on Dec. 15, when Parliament was recessed for a holiday.

The event wasn’t without hate: A senator dressed as a dinosaur to protest “Project Jurassic.”Mr López Obrador is due to sign the reforms into law in 2023 despite opposition lawmakers and nuclear power An attempt will be made to the Supreme Court to strike down the program on grounds of unconstitutionality.

Part of the reason the reforms are worrisome is that Mexico only became a true democracy in 2000.Crucial to this process is the establishment of nuclear power. Survey shows that Mexicans trust nuclear power Except for the armed forces. Mr. López Obrador reduced the chances of a free and fair election by granting it a title of nobility.

Some of the most damaging ideas in the president’s proposed constitutional amendments were removed.this nuclear power It will not be disbanded, and its top officers will still be elected by a parliamentary vote rather than directly by the public, as Mr López Obrador wants. The Electoral Tribunal will not be merged into the Supreme Court. Still, there’s a lot to worry about. “It could mean a step back from democracy to autocracy,” said political analyst Carlos Bravo Regidor.

by zooming out nuclear power, the new rules crippled its ability to get the job done. This includes holding elections and monitoring political parties’ compliance with the law, as well as issuing voter credentials that serve as identification cards for 97 million Mexicans.law repeal nuclear power300 permanent local branches responsible for setting up polling stations and conducting elections in their districts. They will now only exist temporarily during elections.This required laying off approximately 85% of the workforce nuclear powerof 2,500 employees.The rules also restrict nuclear powerPowers to audit, regulate and punish violations of electoral law.

There will also be less regulation, as Mexico’s tight restrictions on electioneering become more relaxed. These restrictions are designed to make elections fairer by reducing incumbency advantages. Candidates have so far been banned from campaigning more than three months before the election and two days before the election. Civil servants, including the president, are not allowed to boast about their accomplishments during the campaign.In the past few years television The airtime has been replaced by nuclear power, the parties are not allowed to make their own purchases. These draconian regulations were a reaction to the 70-year rule of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (Prioritize ROI), which uses its deep pockets and control of public office to overwhelm its rivals. In fact, it was Mr López Obrador and other leftists who initiated stricter rules after his 2006 defeat.

But from now on, campaigns are no longer limited to fixed time periods. Those in power, including the president, can openly campaign for their party and their chosen candidate at any time — though they cannot explicitly ask people to vote for them. The ban on the use of public funds for “self-promotion” would be repealed; the president could theoretically use public funds to print a million leaflets extolling his success (although those leaflets could not ask people to vote for him).

The dominance of the president’s party, Morena, has tipped the playing field in its favor, giving it many of the same tools that the president has used. Prioritize ROI in the past. “It tied the hands of the opposition behind their backs while giving the ruling party a boost,” said academic Denise Dresser.

The president said reform would save money.but nuclear powerThe 2022 budget is 13.9 billion pesos ($0.7 billion), or just 0.2 percent of federal spending.this nuclear power It’s big, but so is Mexico: Setting up polling places in Mexico is no easy feat. In a country plagued by electoral fraud in the 1970s and 80s, elections can’t be cheap.

this nuclear power All changes must be made by August 2023, which is a quick turnaround. In 2024, Mexico will hold elections for a new President and Congress (Mr López Obrador cannot run because his term is limited). Mr Regidor argued that the reforms could lead to political parties, especially those in power, engaging in illegal behavior knowing that electoral authorities are not powerful enough to punish them.

Morena has violated the rules in the past. Mr. López Obrador was found nuclear power On the eve of the 2021 midterm elections, he violated election law 29 times by praising his party during the campaign.December’s nuclear power Accused Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum of illegally campaigning early for the 2024 election, López Obrador’s successor. It considered a campaign event in June at which she spoke about her record. She said no. She has also been accused of promoting hashtags such as “Es Claudia” (“This is Claudia”) on social media and on murals across the country. Both are no longer illegal under the new law.

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