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Proposed headquarters for electoral institute. Planned INE headquarters.

Damn the budget cuts: INE-landia goes ahead

Electoral institute's new headquarters 'fit for a pharaoh,' say opponents

Although the federal government has made another downward adjustment to its 2016 spending, the National Electoral Institute (INE) is moving forward with its new 1.1 billion-peso headquarters, a project deemed fit for the Egyptian pharaohs by opposition politicians.

The huge project entails the renovation of existing buildings spread over 21,000 square meters, building new facilities over a 77,000-square-meter area and installing 16,000 square meters of gardens and multiple-use spaces.

The INE’s new offices will be housed in two 14-story towers which will be surrounded by a museum, nine plazas, a gymnasium, sports areas and fields, and parking lots, all brand new.

The size of the project will require 11 different traffic and road modifications.

According to the institute, the new facilities, known as Conjunto Tlalpan, were designed under a “citizen concept.”

“It’s the image of a governmental institution that represents the citizenry, in its green, open spaces. The limits of the workplace are expanded, thus encouraging physical activity, respect for the environment and fostering a sense of community,” said the INE in a communiqué.

The INE will chose a construction firm from a pool of public bidders and announce its decision July 11. The year-long development and architectural design stage shall start by July 20.

With an initial budget of 1.1 billion pesos — out of 1.4 billion allocated by Congress to this end in 2015 and 2016 — construction should start by July 2017 and take two years.

Representatives of opposition political parties have expressed their disapproval with the project, deeming it “pharaonic” and excessive in a time of economic uncertainty.

The newspaper Reforma labeled the development “INE-landia,” or INE-land, in much the same tone as some use to describe Mexico City as “chilangolandia,” and the U.S. as “gringolandia.”

The members of the electoral council, for their part, have defended the project, claiming that the institute will save 80 million pesos per year in rent.

Source: Reforma (sp)

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