Andrés Manuel López Obrador wants to modify the Constitution to shield his agenda of structural reforms and prevent the initiatives from being paralyzed in the courts. The president of Mexico announced on Tuesday his intention to bring to Congress three measures that represent a fundamental change in the energy, electoral and security model. The first has already been its main commitment in recent months, an electricity law that aims to strengthen the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), a State company, and that despite its approval in Parliament did not come into force due to the resources presented. The second is an electoral reform that aims to renew the National Electoral Institute (INE), a body that was openly confronted during the last campaign by decisions that affected Morena. And the third involves the integration of the National Guard into the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena), which means completing its militarization.
The president considers these reforms “necessary and good for the people and for the nation”, although to enshrine them in the constitutional text he needs the support of the opposition. The results of the June 6 elections limited the margin of action of the ruling party, Morena, in the Chamber of Deputies, which, with the support of its allies from the Green Party and the Labor Party, has a comfortable absolute majority but remains far from the qualified majority required to change the Basic Law. To reach two-thirds of the seats (334 out of 500) it needs the vote of about 40 opposition representatives. That is why López Obrador addressed the PRI, his arch enemy, last week, tempting him with a pact. And although that endorsement is unlikely, it cannot be ruled out a priori.
“We have three constitutional reforms,” recalled the president, who is about to reach the middle of the six-year term, during his morning press conference. “One that strengthens the Federal Electricity Commission, because during the neoliberal period they bet on destroying the CFE to leave the electricity industry market to individuals, especially foreign companies, which took over Mexico,” he said. . The speech is not new. López Obrador has tried to paint the current panorama as a kind of Wild West, while the new electricity law has set off all the alarms in the productive sectors due to its economic impact, which discourages private initiative, and the environment.
“Our country was like a land of conquest and that affected users, consumers, the people, because the prices of electricity increased and increased while subsidies were given to private companies. They abused so much that a Spanish company, Iberdrola, dared to offend Mexicans by hiring the former president as an employee [Felipe] Calderón, who had also been Secretary of Energy, was taken to work at the company, ”the president continued. “It is not for them to disappear, I clarify, these private companies, no, they will continue. But we are going to put order so that 54% of the market corresponds to the CFE and 46% to individuals ”.
The president acknowledges that there is the possibility of not getting enough support, but he tries to portray his adversaries. Thus, he has warned that “if the legislators say no, if they want to continue supporting this injustice in which private companies have better treatment than the CFE, then they assume their responsibility.” Another of the great bets of his project is a reform of the electoral system, of which he has not given details. He has limited himself to saying that he wants “there really is independence in the entire election process, that conservatism does not dominate, that there be democracy, because for a long time those who should act as judges in favor of the groups have been inclined of vested interests ”.
“We have to find a way that those who coordinate the electoral processes are people of unquestionable honesty, upright, authentic democrats. He is not a democrat, as has happened in Mexico, who says we cannot allow a populist to become president, then let us do everything to avoid it, until we steal the election. Let’s make a patriotic fraud ”, he said. López Obrador won the presidential elections in 2018, in his third attempt and spent more than a decade defending that in 2006 an alleged fraud took away his victory. Now he is hard at odds with Lorenzo Córdova, president of the INE, who for his part considers that there are not sufficient conditions of consensus to tackle an electoral reform and that there is no serious diagnosis either. The president, who rejected the disqualification of two Morena candidates, especially Félix Salgado Macedonio in Guerrero, affirms that he wants to reduce the costs of the elections – “it is not possible that 20,000 million pesos will be allocated to,” he said – and the number of seats. “Why so many deputies? Why aren’t the 200 multi-member names removed? ”He asked. Of the 500 members of the Chamber, 300 are elected directly and the rest are assigned according to a criterion of proportionality.
The third reform that López Obrador wants to promote is the integration of the National Guard into the Ministry of Defense. “I don’t want what happened with the Federal Police to happen, which was integrated and wasted.” This measure represents a militarization de facto of the institution, in line with the government policy adopted so far, which has strengthened the Army even assigning it the administration of public works such as the Mayan Train. The law that, instead, the president refuses to pass is a tax reform that increases taxes. Today he has made it clear once more. “It is important to clarify that there will be no reforms promoted by the Executive to increase taxes, because yesterday there was talk of a tax reform and before when they spoke of tax reform it was an increase in taxes. The so-called tax reform of the previous government was a tax increase. Let no one be confused, there are no increases in real terms in fuel prices, ”he emphasized. The president and the government have, in any case, on the agenda a review of the tax system. He admitted it himself. It remains to know the scope of the new rates and how these changes will impact.
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