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Mar 24, 2023
Mexico Top Court Halts AMLO’s Electoral Reform After Challenge
(Bloomberg) -- Mexico’s Supreme Court accepted a challenge from the country’s Electoral Institute INE against the electoral reform passed by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s supporters in congress, temporarily suspending its application while it assesses its constitutionality.
Justice Javier Laynez Potisek granted the suspension requested by the INE to maintain unchanged the electoral laws in force before the reform while it considers the challenge, according to a Supreme Court statement on Friday night.
The Supreme Court said in the statement that on previous occasions it has granted the suspension of laws when they could violate human rights.
“In the event that we are dealing with, it’s about the possible violation of the political-electoral rights of the citizens,” it said.
The court asked Mexico’s congress and the presidency to present responses to the challenge within legally stipulated time.
Read More: Mexico Senate Passes Electoral System Overhaul Ahead of Vote
On Feb. 22, the senate passed a bill that intended to complete the overhaul of the country’s election regulator, a long-sought objective of AMLO, as the Mexican president is known. The bill sought to change the laws on institutions and electoral procedures, political parties and electoral challenges, respectively, including axing funding for the INE and cutting its workforce.
The opposition denounced that the law was an attempt by AMLO to seek political advantages ahead of the 2024 general elections. Eurasia Group said in a note last week the Supreme Court was likely to suspend the electoral bill, which would shield the dispute from the incoming electoral processes.
The suspension will be maintained until the executive and legislative branches of the Mexican government respond, said Secretary of the Interior Adan Augusto Lopez in a tweet following the decision. He also noted that “the rule of law has never been at risk with the approval of the secondary reform, and on the contrary, guaranteeing the democratic access of citizens and the transparency of resources is a commitment that democracy must champion and defend.”
--With assistance from Amy Stillman.
(Adds comments from Secretary of the Interior Adan Augusto Lopez in final graph.)
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.
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