Accustomed to an almost eternal electoral campaign since Andrés Manuel López Obrador assumed the Presidency of the country, Mexicans will return to the polls in 2022 to vote in an unprecedented citizen consultation in which they will decide whether the president should resign or remain in office.
The exercise, dubbed the mandate revocation consultation and scheduled for April 10, has been promoted by the president himself to promote direct democracy, although the opposition considers it to be an unnecessary propaganda mechanism.
“I consider that opposing the revocation of the mandate, the holding of a consultation, the questioning of citizens about the behavior of an authority, is to act in an undemocratic manner”, Reproached the president in one of his morning press conferences.
To convene the consultation to revoke or not the president in the middle of his term, the law requires collecting 2.7 million signatures from citizens.
Although it seems contradictory, López Obrador’s ruling National Regeneration Movement (Morena, left) has greased all its machinery to get the signatures and comply with the president’s will for the referendum to go ahead.
“In a year and a half, the president has not managed to mobilize the population as he would like and he needs this exercise to endorse his leadership and continue the electoral campaign, which is the space in which he feels comfortable”Said Khemvirg Puente, a political scientist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
The results of the midterm elections on June 6 were bittersweet for the president, since the ruling party retained the absolute majority in the Chamber of Deputies, but did not achieve a two-thirds majority to reform the Constitution and suffered a hit in the capital. , traditional fiefdom of the left.
For experts, López Obrador, who took office on December 1, 2018 and should end his term in 2024, needs to agitate his bases.
The truth is that it has a high approval that ranges between 60% and 70%, so it is difficult to imagine that you would lose a consultation of that type.
“The truth is that very few people seek the revocation of the president. The objective (of the consultation) is to build an electoral base for 2024″ Said Puente, who considers it a “distractor” not to mention the government’s economic and security lags.
As is the fact that López Obrador opened the ball of his succession in an unusually early way this year, since eyes are already on the mayor of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum, and the chancellor, Marcelo Ebrard, favorites of the ruling party by 2024.
For the moment, the organization of the referendum has already allowed him to raise tension with the National Electoral Institute (INE), one of the favorite targets of the president’s criticism during his morning press conferences at the National Palace.
The INE, an autonomous body of the Government, suspended some procedures for the organization of the consultation considering that the Congress, dominated by the ruling party, did not grant it a sufficient budget for its convocation.
But this Wednesday, the Electoral Tribunal of the Judicial Power of the Federation (TEPJF) determined that the INE must explore alternatives in order to carry out the consultation on the revocation of López Obrador’s mandate.
Questioned by the press this Thursday at the conference from the National Palace, López Obrador said that yesterday’s resolution is “very important.”
“What is clear, and it is what should be spread more, known and shouted from the rooftops, is that there will be consultation”, Reiterated the president, who criticized the INE for, supposedly, spending excessively on travel, per diem and vehicle rental.
A similar conflict occurred with the popular consultation on August 1 on prosecuting former presidents of the country for corruption, which punctured with only 7% participation, when the law requires 40% for the result to be binding.
In order not to assume the failure, López Obrador denounced the INE’s “lack of will”, which had to set up fewer polling stations also due to an insufficient budget.
Meanwhile, political parties are also preparing for the June 5, 2022 elections in which the governors of six states will be renewed: Aguascalientes, Durango, Hidalgo, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo and Tamaulipas.
Morena has already announced its candidates for these states, while the opposition coalition “Goes through Mexico”, Formed by the National Action (PAN), Institutional Revolutionary (PRI) and Democratic Revolution (PRD) parties, will attend at least four states.
“In almost all the states where there are elections, Morena leads the preferences. I don’t think it will have any impact on the political landscape of the country. It is a good year for the Government to experiment with its electoral machinery“Said Khemvirg Puente.
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