López Obrador celebrates the Supreme Court ruling on the consultation: “Democracy should not be hindered”

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, during his morning press conference this Thursday.
Andrés Manuel López Obrador, during his morning press conference this Thursday.Mexican presidency HANDOUT (EFE)

After the ruling of the Supreme Court that reactivates the consultation for the revocation of the mandate, Andrés Manuel López Obrador celebrated this Thursday during his morning conference that “it was a very good decision because democracy should not be hindered or violated the Constitution.” Two judges of the highest Mexican court decided on Wednesday night in an express and preliminary way to annul the suspension decreed last week by the National Electoral Institute (INE) due to lack of resources to organize the vote. The final decision will be known after the vacation. The 11 will be debated by the 11 judges of the Court.

López Obrador thus achieves a temporary victory in the prolonged fight with the INE, one of his favorite adversaries. The electoral body decided on December 17 to postpone the convocation of the consultation scheduled for April 10 after the cut of more than 2,300 million pesos by Congress to the last budget of the organization. The referendum, scheduled for April 10, is the president’s great asset in the final stretch of the mandate. The tension rose a couple of steps with daily rhetorical volleys against the INE and the challenge of the decision by Morena to both the Federal Electoral Tribunal and the Supreme Court.

Given the possibility that the consultation will not be carried out through legal channels, the president even opened the door for the vote to revoke the mandate could be informally organized by the citizens. A model that already has precedents. During the first stages of his government, he promoted a handful of controversial popular consultations held outside the electoral body on issues as diverse as the construction of two trains, a refinery, the viability of 10 social programs or the reversal of a new airport. “Democracy is made by the people,” he stressed during the week.

The judges insisted that the INE has 1,503 million pesos to organize the consultation, so there is “an indicator of financial viability,” and that with these resources it must move forward with all stages of the process. For his part, the head of the INE, Lorenzo Córdova, estimated that more than 3,830 million pesos are required for the organization of the referendum. The INE can challenge the decision, but the Court is on vacation, it returns on January 3 and the claims of the electoral body will hardly be resolved before February.

Progress in organizing the revocation of the mandate has continued despite the INE’s temporary blockade. A proposal that required an amendment to the Constitution and a law to regulate it. The campaign is currently in the first phase: collecting the 2.8 million signatures needed to request the measure this week. And with the decision of the Court, the officials of the Institute are obliged for the moment to continue with their part, which will begin once sufficient support is obtained.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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