Thu, 23 February 2023 at 2:06 am GMT
(Bloomberg) — Mexico’s Senate passed a bill that completes the overhaul of the country’s election regulator, a long-sought objective of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador just 16 months ahead of general elections.The Senate late Wednesday approved the electoral bill known as “Plan B” in general and particular terms with 72 votes in favor and 50 against, according to the legislative chamber’s Twitter. The bill modifies the laws on institutions and electoral procedures, political parties and electoral challenges, respectively.
AMLO, as the president is known, has faced backlash from his push to overhaul Mexico’s electoral regulator, known as the INE, with a general election scheduled for July 2024. In November, thousands of protesters marched in Mexico City against the president’s initiative, saying it would weaken elections and calling it a power grab.
Read More: Mexicans March Against AMLO’s Plan to Overhaul Electoral System
The reform seeks to reduce funding for the INE and cut its workforce. The regulator has become too partisan and the cost of elections too high, AMLO has said. It’s considered the government’s backup plan after an attempt to reform the constitution with a similar bill last year was blocked by the opposition.
Opposition leaders said they will seek to challenge the reform at the Supreme Court, arguing that it bypasses the constitution by not submitting it to the two-thirds vote needed in these cases. They’ve also called on Mexicans to march against the reform and in defense of the INE during protests scheduled for Feb. 26.
–With assistance from Alex Vasquez.