President López Obrador signed a written undertaking today that he will not seek re-election at the end of his term in 2024, declaring that six years is enough time to “eradicate corruption and impunity.”
The pledge comes in response to claims from opposition party lawmakers that a proposal to subject the president’s rule to a referendum three years after taking office is part of a ploy to enable López Obrador to perpetuate his power.
The lower house of Congress approved a constitutional amendment last week that would allow voters to have their say on a president’s performance midway through the six-year term, and López Obrador has said that if citizens choose to revoke his mandate, he will resign.
The president read out his commitment to reporters at his daily press conference this morning.
“. . . During more than 20 years, I have declared on several occasions that upon reaching a public position, I would subject myself to a revocation of mandate [vote],” López Obrador said, explaining that he made the promise while campaigning in the 2006, 2012 and 2018 presidential elections.
“So, in the middle of my mandate, in 2021, a consultation should be carried out in order to ask citizens if they want me to continue governing or to resign,” the president said.
López Obrador acknowledged in the commitment that he was elected to serve a six-year term but added that according to the constitution, “the people have every right to change the form of their government, in other words, the people install [the president] and the people remove [the president].”
To that end, the president explained that he asked Congress to make the required constitutional changes to allow the midterm referendum to take place.
“However, my political adversaries, the conservatives who think that I am like them – because their true doctrine is hypocrisy – proclaim that the proposal to subject myself to a revocation of mandate [vote] conceals the intention to stand for reelection in 2024,” López Obrador said.
“In light of this lie, it is necessary for me to reiterate my democratic principles and convictions to establish the following:
- I am a maderista [adherent of revolutionary and former president Francisco Madero] and supporter of his slogan ‘effective suffrage, no re-election.’
- Ideals and convictions inspire me, not the ambition for power.
- I believe that power only has meaning and becomes a virtue when it is placed at the service of others.
- I believe that six years is enough to eradicate corruption and impunity and turn Mexico into a prosperous, democratic and fraternal republic . . .
- I reaffirm that I’m not a supporter of and I don’t agree with re-election and under no circumstance would I try to perpetuate myself in the position I currently hold because that wouldn’t only mean going against the constitution but also betraying my principles and renouncing my honesty, which I consider to be the most valuable thing in my life.
. . . I will leave the presidency on the exact day that the maximum and supreme law indicates and in 2024 I will go to [my ranch in] Palenque. But I also say with sincerity that I hope with my whole heart, with my whole soul, that what has been achieved [by my government] is very difficult to reverse, so that the country doesn’t go back to the vile and sad times in which the mafia of power ruled.”
Source: El Financiero (sp)