It seems to me that far from simplifying the electoral system that we have (…) what we are going to superimpose is another electoral process”.
María Marván Laborde, former electoral counselor of the INE.
The announced presidential proposal that the directors of the National Electoral Institute (INE) and magistrates of the Superior Chamber of the Electoral Court of the Federal Judicial Branch (TEPJF) be elected by citizens through direct and secret voting generated mixed reactions among former directors electoral.
Yesterday, in a conference, the head of the federal Executive, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, announced that after April 10, the date on which the consultation on the Revocation of his Mandate will be held, he will present his reform initiative to the Chamber of Deputies. Constitution on electoral matters.
He advanced that his proposal consists of each one of the three powers of the Union, the Executive, Legislative and Judicial, submit lists of 20 “truly independent citizens, of unquestionable honesty”; that is, “60 for the case of councilors and something similar in the case of magistrates, and those 60 are going to be voted in open elections and the one who gets the most votes is going to be the president, looking for them to be half women, half men ”.
At present, the INE councilors are elected by the votes of two thirds of the federal deputies and the electoral magistrates are also elected by two thirds of the senators of the Republic.
For María Marván, federal electoral advisor between 2011 and 2019, the president’s proposal could be costly in addition to making the Mexican electoral system even more complex.
“It seems to me that far from simplifying the electoral system that we have (…) what we are going to superimpose is another electoral process,” he said.
He opined that “the electoral officials and the electoral magistrates do not have to assume that they represent the citizens, their function is not and cannot be to represent the citizen.
“Their function is, as electoral advisers, to organize the elections and, as electoral magistrates, to resolve the jurisdictional problems that are created in the electoral process.”
He added that it would be a “very serious mistake” to think that Mexican democracy is advancing by taking these positions to popular election.
Political quotas could continue despite changes
For his part, the former counselor of the Electoral Institute of the Federal District (IEDF), Eduardo Huchim, affirmed that the proposal is “interesting” because it implies a “radical change” in the method of integrating the electoral bodies, subject to knowing the initiative of comprehensive constitutional reform.
The announced project, he said, “could lead to the end of this distribution between the political parties, of two advisers for you and three for me, as we already know has been happening.”
But he also questioned: “If this is so, who guarantees us or how are we going to do it so that this distribution of directors is not repeated when it comes to integrating the candidacies of those who will finally be directors and magistrates”.
Hence, he considered it necessary to know the details of the presidential proposal. “The devil is in the details. But in principle it seems interesting, viable, a radical change”.
To a specific question about whether the announced electoral reform must necessarily go through the renewal of the Electoral Institute and the TEPJF, he replied that “the truth is that in the transcendental electoral reforms in the country, generally the electoral body has not been unscathed, practically the that they are as they are to integrate the new General Council and the new Superior Chamber”.
On the refusal of the opposition parties in the Congress of the Union to an electoral reform that includes changing the councilors and magistrates, and more if it is intended to be done directly by the citizens, as President López Obrador proposes, he said that it is Naturally they oppose.
“The opposition doesn’t want to because it is preferable to have the power of quotas and continue with the quota system; It’s natural, it’s okay for the opposition to oppose it, but we’re going to see what the proposal is like in its entirety. Finally, it will be necessary to see if through normal negotiation in any initiative, wherever it comes from, agreements can be reached”, he commented.
From the point of view of Fernando Dworak, an expert on legislative issues, the presidential announcement is one more of his “occurrences.”
“These are positions that have to be eminently technical and should work in the interest of the party system as a whole, not partisan agendas.”
After carefully analyzing the proposal, he assured, “it would generate electoral bodies that are much more politicized and biased toward the government.” (With information Hector Molina)