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Mexico’s President Attacks US for Questioning His Electoral Reform

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Mexico’s socialist president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, lashed out Tuesday against U.S. democracy. López Obrador claimed that there is more democracy in Mexico than in the United States. The president’s comments followed the State Department’s questioning of his electoral reform, known as Plan B.

“I tell Mr. Antony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State, that there is more democracy in Mexico than in the United States. It is because here the people govern instead of the oligarchy, like in the U.S.,” said López Obrador during a presidential press conference.

In addition, López Obrador said that if the U.S. wants to continue its policy towards Latin America, it should resolve the situation in Peru. He blamed the American government for the crisis in Peruvian politics and defended fellow socialist Pedro Castillo, who tried to dissolve Peru’s Congress while he was president.  

“Instead of meddling, interfering in our affairs, if they want to continue with the same policy, they should take care of what is happening in Peru. There, the U.S. ambassador is the advisor to the coup perpetrators, who unjustly removed the president from office.”

He also criticized that, in the United States, there has been no discussion of alleged irregularities during the terms of Vicente Fox and Felipe Calderón. “They are very good at seeing the speck in someone else’s eye, and not the log in their own,” he commented.

Protests against Lopez Obrador and his plan

López Obrador’s attack against the U.S. followed statements by American authorities over Sunday’s marches against the electoral reform approved last week in the Mexican Senate.

“In Mexico, today we are witnessing a great debate over electoral reforms that test the independence of electoral and judicial institutions,” said the State Department’s Assistant Secretary for the Western Hemisphere, Brian Nichols.

In this regard, Ned Price, spokesman for the State Department, pointed out that an independent electoral system is one of the pillars of democracy.

Plan B is a project that intends to promote several changes. Among the most discussed is a major restructuring in the composition of the National Electoral Institute. The measure would reduce the budget, its workforce and close several of its local offices.

“For example, the reform would eliminate 300 district boards, which are in charge of organizing federal and local elections on the ground, as well as citizen participation instruments in the country. It would also reduce the structure of 32 local boards by more than 260 positions,” explains BBC Mundo.

However, millions of citizens have taken to the streets in defense of the institution and democracy. “We Mexicans are on the side of democracy, together we make ourselves heard so that the country’s democratic institutions are not destroyed!” said Alejandro Moreno, president and deputy of one of the main opposition groups, the Institutional Revolutionary Party.

Williams Perdomo es periodista y escritor, especializado en las fuentes Política y Cultura.