Politics: 20 reform proposals foreshadow less democracy and more years of AMLO rule

MEXICO - Report 12 Feb 2024 by Guillermo Valdes and Francisco González

On February 5, the anniversary of Mexico’s Constitution, which emerged from the Mexican Revolution, President López Obrador sent Congress a package of 18 constitutional and two legal reforms he says are aimed at rewriting articles introduced during the neoliberal or “neoporfirist” period. This timing is historically odd given that he has only eight months left in office, a point when his predecessors were all focused on putting the finishing touches on the policies and reforms they undertook early in their term of office.

But with virtually no prospect this June of Morena and its minor party allies' winning the sort of qualified majority in both chambers of Congress needed to pass constitutional reforms, AMLO’s 20-point wish list appears to be designed to serve a series of extra-legislative functions. The first of these is that the reform proposals can act as a backdoor through which the President and others in his administration can sidestep campaign laws and actively proselytize in favor of the reforms, which Morena presidential nominee Claudia Sheinbaum has described as the backbone of her plan of government. The proposals are also the latest assertion by AMLO that he intends to remain the undisputed leader of Morena and the 4T governing project and impose his will on the next government.

This week we look in greater detail at the reform proposals, their longer term implications if adopted, and the extent to which they further restrict the room for maneuver of any future Sheinbaum administration.

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