President López Obrador said Tuesday that his government cannot react to the nationwide drought because election silence rules prevent it from doing so, and only after the June 6 elections can it attend to the emergency.
The dissemination of political propaganda is prohibited in the lead-up to an election.
“We are going to help but we are waiting for the electoral silence to pass, because we cannot now carry out any action, even in emergencies,” the president said.
“We want to be careful not to allow public money to be used, which is the people’s money and everyone’s money, for electoral purposes. The budget should not be used to help any party or any candidate and I don’t know of any pretext or excuse,” he added.
Yesterday, opposition legislators urged the government and Conagua to implement an emergency plan to mitigate the damage of the drought, which is considered the worst in 30 years.
Farmers have called on the Ministry of Agriculture to reallocate resources and the National Confederation of Livestock Organizations has called for help, since the policy of agricultural disaster insurance was discontinued by the current administration.
The president took the opportunity to denounce other forms of electoral corruption. “I take this opportunity to remind everyone that handouts should not be given to obtain votes. That is undemocratic and it is also a crime. Tell everyone to help, to report, if there are trucks or trailers with handouts, or to report if public money is being used to favor parties. We all have to ensure that there is democracy in Mexico, authentic democracy,” he said.
The president’s comments were made at this morning’s mañanera news briefing, an event which itself has come under scrutiny for breaching electoral rules.
The head of the National Electoral Institute (INE) previously called for broadcasts of the briefings to be suspended during the campaign, arguing that they violate electoral rules by dispersing government propaganda.
Broadcasts have continued, but the president was ordered to remove content on April 16 which promoted the government’s social projects. The INE then delivered a list of 11 topics that should not be discussed at the conference.
Mexico News Daily