Head of Mexico's National Electoral Institute Lorenzo Córdova. Head of the National Electoral Institute Lorenzo Córdova.

AMLO’s call for electoral reform called ‘incredible’ by Mexico’s elections chief

National Electoral Institute head warns changes might weaken a 'diligently' built system

That President López Obrador is proposing an electoral reform three weeks after “impeccable” elections were held is “unbelievable,” according to the head of the National Electoral Institute (INE).

The president proposed this week that Congress pass an electoral reform that would entail replacing all members of the INE, implementing new rules to ensure that electoral authorities are impartial and cutting costs associated with running elections.

Speaking at a forum on democracy on Thursday, INE chief Lorenzo Córdova warned against the reform.

“It’s unbelievable that three weeks after an election like this, the president of the republic is insisting on electoral reform. Careful with electoral reforms!” he said.

Such reform should only be carried out if it is absolutely necessary “because the current times are of great risk, of great demagogy,” Córdova said, making a thinly veiled attack on López Obrador.

He said that reform might not “strengthen what we have today” but rather weaken the system that has been “diligently” built over years.

“… Improving [the electoral system] is good, but a reform opens the door to eventual backward steps and eventual risks,” the INE president said.

Any reform that is carried out should be based on “real diagnoses” of problems that need to be solved, he said. “If you’re not clear about the problem you want to solve, … it makes no sense to undertake a reform because you can open up a Pandora’s box.”

He made it clear that he doesn’t believe reform is necessary because despite the pandemic, electoral violence and “unprecedented” verbal attacks on the INE, the June 6 elections were “impeccable” from “a technical and organizational point of view.”

“… They were probably the best elections [ever] … due to the context [in which they were held],” Córdova said.

He also noted that several reforms to improve the electoral system have already been carried out.

“They were all incremental reforms. [Let’s be] careful. Opening the door to electoral reform in the current times could translate into an electoral counterreform,” Córdova said.

With reports from Reforma 

Reader forum

The forum is available to logged-in subscribers only.