Opposition marches in Mexico against AMLO’s electoral reform initiative
(CNN Spanish) — About 200,000 people marched this Sunday MexicoAnd before the electoral reform initiative proposed by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the organizers of the mobilization called the National Electoral Institute (INE) security, thousands in about thirty cities in the country.
The opposition claims that the initiative, which was sent to the House of Representatives by the President last April, is a strategy to dismantle the country’s autonomous electoral system. According to the organizers, the protest will gather a million people.
Around 50 civil organisations, political parties and opposition legislators have called for a national demonstration. López Obrador’s reform initiative proposes the overhaul of INE, the agency responsible for organizing elections across the country, among other tasks.
The parade in Mexico City started at the Angel of Liberty symbol and ended at the Monument to the Revolution.
Between 10,000 and 12,000 people took part in the demonstration in Mexico City, according to Martí Batres, the government secretary of the Mexican capital.
At the Monument to the Revolution, Joss Woldenberg, the first head of the defunct Federal Electoral Institute, the predecessor to the INE, and the only speaker at the demonstration, called for the preservation of the country’s electoral system. The ruling party’s goal is described as aligning electoral systems to the government’s will.
“No to rigging electoral systems to the will of the government, no to dictatorship. Yes to democracy; yes to a democratic Mexico,” Woldenberg said during his speech.
The reform proposes a reduction in the budgets of the INE and political parties, and the institution’s directors and electoral magistrates are elected by popular vote, not by appointing legislators. It also proposes to change the name of the organization to National Elections and Consultancy Corporation.
Two days before the protests, the Chamber of Deputies approved a 2023 budget that cuts resources to autonomous bodies in Mexico, including the INE, whose budget will be cut by about 4,475 million pesos (about $230 million).