Mexico’s president criticizes mass protests against electoral reform

Mexico’s president criticizes mass protests against electoral reform


Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Monday slammed a mass protest against his proposed electoral reform as an attempt by his opponents to return to corrupt old ways.

“Those who demonstrated … did so in favor of corruption, racism, classism and discrimination — that’s the bottom line,” Lopez Obrador told reporters a day after tens of thousands demonstrated in Mexico City.

The president, who regularly accuses his predecessors of corruption, emphasized that his plan aims to “strengthen democracy”.

The protesters called for a halt to proposed reform, which they say will undermine the National Electoral Institute, the independent body that organizes the country’s elections.

Some carried banners that read, “I am not corrupt, class-conscious, racist or hypocritical,” referring to adjectives the President used to describe those planning to attend.

Lopez Obrador alleges that the INE supported fraud when he ran unsuccessfully for the presidency in 2006 and 2012 before winning in 2018.

Under his proposal, the INE would be replaced by a new body, elected by voters rather than legislators, and with a smaller budget.

Political parties would also have less money for the election campaign.

The proposed reform, which includes amending the constitution, requires the support of at least two-thirds of lawmakers in Congress, and Lopez Obrador’s political opponents have vowed to oppose the changes.

Lopez Obrador criticized the participation of opposition politicians such as former President Vicente Fox of the conservative National Action Party in Sunday’s protest.

The president’s plan would also reduce the number of seats in the lower house of Congress from 500 to 300 and in the Senate from 128 to 96.

The next presidential election is scheduled for 2024, and the constitution limits presidents to six-year terms.

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