With official publication, controversial electoral reforms take effect in Mexico

By Murphy Woodhouse
Published: Friday, March 3, 2023 - 5:30pm

With their official publication this week, controversial electoral reforms in Mexico are now in effect.

The recently published changes were the second part of the so-called Plan B electoral reforms pushed aggressively by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and are a watered-down version of a more sweeping constitutional reform he had wanted.

Nevertheless, critics say they will weaken the country’s National Electoral Institute (INE), the agency tasked with running Mexican elections.

“It is more about hobbling the referee, limiting the ability of the referee to ensure a fair competition between the government and opposition parties,” said Tyler Mattiace, Mexico researcher with Human Rights Watch.

The reforms face numerous legal challenges, and Mattiace noted that they come against the backdrop of rising tension between López Obrador and the nation’s Supreme Court.

AMLO has regularly lambasted the country’s high court and says he doesn’t trust most of its justices. The court’s new president notably refused to stand for AMLO at a recent address and has defended the importance of judicial independence.

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