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Mexicans in the streets in defense of the functioning of the national electoral institute



The president supports the new legislation

Mass protests took place in several Mexican cities against the new electoral law, which foresees a reduction in the budget and number of employees of the state electoral institute. Protesters are convinced that the law therefore represents an attack on democracy.

Protests took place in several cities across the country, the largest being in the capital, Ciudad de Mexico. According to the local authorities, 90,000 people gathered there, while the organizers estimate their number at 500,000, reports the British BBC. “We are fighting for democracy,” said one female protester wearing a cap with an inscription “Hands off INE.”

On Wednesday, the Mexican Senate approved by 72 votes to 50 a law that provides for a reduction in the budget and the number of employees of the National Electoral Institute (INE), which is in charge of organizing elections at the federal level. The law will enter into force when the president of the country also approves it Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

According to INE, the new legislation would reduce the number of employees by as much as 85 percent and eliminate 300 district committees, which are crucial in organizing elections. According to President Lopez Obrador, the reforms would save taxpayers around $150 million a year.

The president supports the new legislation

Lopez Obrador has been critical of INE since assuming the presidency. Among other things, the electoral body accuses of cheating and turning a blind eye “stuffing ballot boxes, falsifying electoral documents and buying votes”. He claims that the reform will improve the electoral system and claims that the protests are organized by a group of corrupt people who want to seize power.

Many in the country, however, the law is described as an attack on democracy ahead of next year’s presidential elections, and they are calling on the Supreme Court to overturn it.

Lopez Obrador was elected to the position of president of the country in July 2018, after being unsuccessful twice before. When he ran for the first time in 2006, he got less than one percent of the vote than the later president Felipe Calderon, so he refused to recognize the results and accused the electoral commission of fraud. Even in 2012, when he lost to Enrique Peña Nieto, he challenged the results.

Source: Rtvslo

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