López Obrador during the morning conference.MEXICO'S PRESIDENCY / Reuters
Andrés Manuel López Obrador has taken advantage of this Friday a new opportunity to launch another dart against the National Electoral Institute (INE). This time the justification for the criticisms does not even serve the interests of Morena, but rather a party and an opposition leader, Movimiento Ciudadano and Samuel García, who during the June elections became one of his main adversaries. However, given the recent fine imposed on the governor-elect of Nuevo Léon for his ads during the campaign, the president has come to his defense: “I feel like they are not doing well. These decisions do not give me confidence, "he charged during his morning conference, in addition to slipping that the agency acts for" political "purposes.
This Friday's statements represent a new escalation against the INE, one of its favorite targets, which also comes on the eve of the controversial popular consultation to investigate the former presidents of August 1. López Obrador thus increases the pressure on the electoral body, which will be in charge of organizing and supervising a consultation marked in red on the president's agenda. A plebiscite, the first held according to the Constitution, which runs the risk of deflating due to the high participation threshold required for the result to be binding and the INE's demands for a more budget to guarantee the logistics of the event.
One more step in the campaign to wear down the president against the electoral body, which he considers tainted by partisan interests, one more appendix of that kind of old regime that his government aspires to close. The confrontations with its president, Lorenzo Córdova, and other advisers have been a constant during the six-year term. Last year López Obrador declared himself the "guardian" of the upcoming elections, to which Córdova responded by reminding him that "Mexico already has a guardian of the elections, an autonomous constitutional body that is the guarantor of our democracy."
The increasingly frontal clash between the Government and independent organizations has aroused numerous criticisms due to the fear of a reconcentration of power in the hands of the Executive to the detriment of the institutional scaffolding that accompanied the democratic transition.
In particular, the attacks on the INE take on even greater relevance in a country where holding transparent elections is a relatively recent achievement.
Both López Obrador and the rest of Morena's cadres have openly recognized their intention to carry out a thorough reform of the INE, which would even include incorporating the new electoral body as part of the Executive's organization chart, under the supposed premise of impartiality and budget savings.
"The INE is the most expensive apparatus for organizing elections, the most expensive in the world," the president often repeats.
Any reform option is necessarily accompanied by a change in the Constitution. Reaching a qualified majority, after quarters of the Chamber in the hands of his partners, was precisely López Obrador's main objective in the July elections. Morena and his allies were far from the goal and with the new parliamentary arithmetic the ambitions of the party in government necessarily go through agreeing with the opposition. The 69 PRI deputies have since become the new object of desire for López Obrador, who has already begun to build bridges with the tricolor formation.
The president recalled this Friday his recent controversy with the INE after the decision of the General Council of the body to exclude two Morena candidates, Félix Salgado Macedonio and Raúl Morón, from the electoral race, due to irregularities during the campaign. López Obrador then described the decision as "an attack on democracy." The popular consultation on August 1 is the umpteenth open front. The INE has demanded more budget to organize the consultation and has announced that it will only install a third of the "receiving tables" compared to the voting booths for the June elections.
Demands interpreted as a new resistance on the part of the Government, and which anticipate a new front in the event that during the meeting a participation above 40% of the register is not reached, a threshold necessary for it to be binding.
of EL PAÍS México and receive all the informative keys of the current situation of this country