Mexico Referendum on Former Leaders Has Low Turnout

08/02/2021

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Low turnout overshadowed Mexico’s first formal referendum, a controversial vote proposed by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador that he said would advance efforts to investigate and prosecute wrongdoing of several past presidents.

Just 7% or 6.6 million of Mexico’s 94 million registered voters cast ballots Sunday, well below the 40% required by law for the results to be binding, according to preliminary results released by Mexico’s electoral agency. Nearly 98% of those who participated voted in favor of investigating former presidents.

READ MORE

A Look at Mexico’s Political Reform-The Expert Take

By Duncan Wood

As the Mexican congress debates two major economic reforms (fiscal and energy) a third reform debate, this time over changing the rules and institutions of the Mexican political system, is in full swing. Recent proposals by the opposition PAN and PRD parties have highlighted rival but complementary plans for addressing what are seen by some as the most problematic weaknesses of democracy in the country. As a central element of the Pacto por Mexico, we should expect that political reform will occur, and its implications for Mexico’s political balance will be profoundly felt.

Over the past three decades, piecemeal political reforms in Mexico have played a role in the gradual transformation from a closed authoritarian system to an evolving democracy. The true significance of many of these reforms was not apparent at the time, but they have played important roles in the path of democratization. The creation of the Instituto Federal Electoral (IFE) stands out as perhaps the most important of these but, as Rod Camp has pointed out, other reforms have proven to be highly significant in the long term.

Read the full article here.