Thousands turn out to ask Mexico high court to reject election reform

Mexico City, Feb 26 (EFE).- Hundreds of thousands of Mexicans on Sunday jammed into the Zocalo, the large square in central Mexico City, to demand that the country’s Supreme Court reject the election reform proposed by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, which they see as a threat to the autonomy and trustworthiness of the 2024 presidential election.

According to organizers of the massive protest, not only was the Zocalo itself filled to capacity but also adjacent streets with at least half a million people who demanded throwing out the so-called “Plan B” that would cut the human and economic resources allocated to the National Electoral Institute (INE), Mexico’s top election authority.

The demonstrators, who ranged from minors to the elderly, began arriving at the country’s main public plaza – around which the major government buildings stand – starting at 9 am and they began departing just before noon.

Before the National Palace and the Supreme Court headquarters (SCJN), the throng – many of whom were dressed in pink and white, the colors of the INE – shouted in unison “Don’t touch my vote” and “The Court has one mission: respect the constitution.”

This is the second demonstration held in Mexico against the modifications of electoral laws proposed by Lopez Obrador, known as AMLO, since December, when Congress rejected his controversial electoral reform whereby he proposed creating a National Elections and Consultations Institute to replace the current INE, among other things.

Retired Supreme Court magistrate Jose Ramon Cossio said that the current magistrates on the high court will halt implementation of Plan B on the grounds that it is unconstitutional.

“Up to now, the magistrates have only heard the offensive words of the President and his followers. Those of us here want to speak to them with another language, with the language of trust and respect corresponding to democrats,” Cossio said.

The jurist emphasized “the pressures to which (the high court justices) are being subjected by those who want to take ownership of the Mexican electoral system.”

He said that AMLO, who has denied that his Plan B poses any risk to the organization of the 2024 presidential vote, has claimed that the magistrates will be acting in a corrupt manner if they prevent the modifications to the election laws from entering into force.

In that sense, Cossio said that the high court magistrates will feel that Plan B “has serious potential” to affect the electoral rules, which reduce the resources available to the INE, and which “regrettably have reduced the rights of women.”

Above all, he warned that allowing Plan B to become law would send a message that a single person, during his presidential administration, can impose what he wants on the country without any regard for what the public thinks or wants.

Beatriz Pages, a journalist and member of the opposition Va por Mexico bloc, said that the movement to defend the INE is ready “to confront the enemies of the Constitution.”

She said that Sunday’s demonstration creates a front for winning the 2024 presidential election and called on the high court justices to “toss (Plan B) in the trash.

Participating in the huge demonstration were the leaders of opposition political parties including Marko Cortes, the head of the conservative National Action Party (PAN); Jesus Zambrano, with the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) and Alejandro Moreno, with the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), along with the head of the Chamber of Deputies, Mexico’s lower house of Congress, Santiago Creel.

In addition, public figures such as businessman and one of the promoters of the demonstration Claudio X. Gonzalez, writer and activist Javier Sicilia, former Mexican foreign minister and current presidential candidate Angel Gurria and former PAN activist and attorney Javier Lozano, among others, were on hand for the protest.

During the morning, the large Mexican flag was not waving from the Zocalo flagpole, given that on Sunday the military flag-hoisting team did not raise it, in contrast to other days.

The demonstration was brought to a conclusion with the singing of the country’s national anthem.



Related Articles

Back to top button