Politics: A coming deluge of court cases over electoral laws

MEXICO - Report 30 Jan 2023 by Guillermo Valdes and Francisco González

A major showdown is shaping up over President López Obrador’s pending reforms to the country’s electoral laws. With the Senate expected in early February to put the finishing touches on what AMLO labeled his "Plan B", the stage is set for an avalanche of appeals and constitutional challenges to those measures that are likely to be presented before multiple courts.

Political parties comprising the opposition coalition, legislators, civil society organizations, specialists in electoral law and the INE have all been coordinating efforts to support one another in drafting their legal arguments and the forms that can be used by citizens, social organizations and electoral workers to file well-founded appeals to protect their rights. And the first such cases were filed with the Supreme Court January 23.

The litigation is likely to play out fairly quickly, mainly because of strict statutory time limits on such cases. And although there is no date for the Supreme Court (SCJN) to issue its rulings on the appeals against the electoral reform that will soon be before it, it is expected to hand them down before the end of May; otherwise they may not have any effect on the crucial 2024 presidential elections, although even that technicality is being debated by jurists.

The fight will play out in the streets as well. The civil society organizations that called for the citizen march in defense of the INE last November have already called for a rally in the main plazas (zocalos) of Mexico City and all the other main cities this coming February 26, for the same purpose as the November protest but now under the slogan "Hands Off My Vote."

AMLO reacted just as he did to the mid November march, denouncing it as conservative, claiming it is really about defending Genaro García Luna, the former public security minister under ex-President Felipe Calderón who is currently being tried in New York, accused of working for the Sinaloa cartel. And once again, AMLO has responded by calling a rally in Mexico City’s Zocalo, this time ostensibly to celebrate his energy policy, on March 18. It seems that now the tables have turned: the opposition is beginning to dictate the president’s agenda.

Now read on...

Register to sample a report