The determination of the National Electoral Institute (INE) of Mexico to temporarily suspend the consultation to revoke the Executive’s mandate, arguing the lack of resources derived from a cut in the body’s budget, caused a wave of rejection in the ruling party.
Officials of the Cabinet of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, governors of Morena and leaders of the ruling party in Congress rejected that the General Council of the INE, in an extraordinary session held last Friday, December 17, temporarily postponed activities related to the organization of the referendum, “given the budget insufficiency derived from the cut approved by the Chamber of Deputies” to the body.
The head of Government of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum, asserted this Monday that the INE put “as a pretext” the lack of resources not to continue with the referendum process.
At a press conference, Sheinbaum criticized that the electoral body has not implemented an austerity policy. “It receives many billions of pesos and we believe that with these resources it has, they can be adequately distributed, in order to carry out this mandate revocation consultation,” he declared.
We urge the INE to carry out an austerity program that adapts to the country’s situation in order to carry out the mandate revocation consultation and thus comply with what the people and the Constitution mandate. pic.twitter.com/sWdKSyg3ft
– CDMX Government (@GobCDMX) December 20, 2021
The 15 pro-government governors, as well as the head of government of the capital, signed a joint press release to express their rejection of what was decreed by the electoral body, arguing that the INE advisers violate “political rights enshrined in the Constitution.”
“Democracy is not a process that is lived every six years, it must be a system where every day the people exercise their rights of participation and decision,” reads the text signed by the rulers of 16 entities, in which they asked the INE advisers to “reconsider this decision”.
The governors of the # 4taTransformation They demonstrate in favor of participatory democracy and the right of the Mexican people to exercise it daily. The @INEMexico it cannot limit democracy.#ElPuebloManda@PartidoMorenaMxpic.twitter.com/R7UYR7PfZA
– Mario Delgado (@mario_delgado) December 19, 2021
For his part, the head of the Ministry of Foreign Relations (SRE), Marcelo Ebrard, affirmed on his Twitter account that the INE’s decision has as a background a “political calculation”, by trying to “avoid” that, in the eventual consultation , “the high approval of President López Obrador is confirmed.”
“The discourse from the INE to defend democracy is crumbling. I hope they reconsider. It suits nobody“wrote the Mexican foreign minister in a message published on Saturday afternoon.
Postponing the revocation of the mandate seeks to prevent the high approval of President López Obrador from being confirmed in that consultation. A political calculation prevails. The discourse from the INE to defend democracy is crumbling. Hopefully they reconsider. It suits no one.
– Marcelo Ebrard C. (@m_ebrard) December 18, 2021
Meanwhile, the coordinator of Morena’s bench in the upper house, Senator Ricardo Monreal, announced that in the face of the INE’s “excess” he could appeal the decision to the Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judicial Power (TEPJF), and even they would evaluate the presentation of a constitutional controversy before the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN).
“The revocation of the mandate is a constitutional and legal provision that must be observed and does not admit an exception,” Monreal said.
Faced with the excess of @INEMexico, you can go to the appeal in the @TEPJF_informa and even to the @SCJN, via constitutional controversy, due to the invasion of powers. The revocation of mandate is a constitutional and legal provision that must be observed and does not admit exception.
– Ricardo Monreal A. (@RicardoMonrealA) December 18, 2021
The Electoral Council of the INE, in the voice of its president, Lorenzo Córdova Vianello, stated that the electoral body has a “deficit” of 2,327 million pesos (111.8 million dollars) to carry out the exercise.
This decision was criticized on Monday by the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who described as a “regrettable” situation that the INE, instead of “promoting democracy, has dedicated itself to obstructing it.”
“It cannot be that, arguing that they do not have a budget, they do not want to do the consultation, or that is what is being interpreted by their attitudes,” said the president in his usual morning conference.
Signature collection process
At the moment, the collection of citizen support continues, as part of the requirement to collect 2,758,227 signatures from the Nominal List by December 25. According to last cut of the INE, dated 19 of this month, 1,009,965 rubrics have been collected, what represents 36.62% of the total required to hold the referendum.
In addition, only two of 17 entities meet the requirement of gathering the signatures equivalent to 3% of the Nominal List of voters by state.