Martí, left, and Muñoz, presidents of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies respectively. Martí, left, and Muñoz, presidents of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies respectively.

Quite a bit late and several bodies short: new Congress begins session

Yesterday was the first sitting of the 64th Legislature, Mexico's first leftist Congress

Tardiness and absenteeism marked the first day of the 64th Legislature, the first leftist Congress in Mexico’s history.

It was also the first day on the job for the 628 lawmakers either elected on July 1 or named under proportional representation. But not all of them made it on time, and some never even made it in to work.

Scheduled to begin at 11:00am, the first day in session of the Chamber of Deputies officially started on Mexican time — 13 minutes late. And only 347 of the 500 deputies were in attendance.

The tardiness earned a rebuke from the president of the lower house, Deputy Porfirio Muñoz Ledo y Lazo de la Vega, who reprimanded the deputies in attendance “for not being able to start the assembly on time.”

One hour later, another 139 deputies had arrived for the first day of their three-year terms. That only left 14 unaccounted for.

They adjourned after three hours, at the end of which Muñoz Ledo asked his fellow legislators to be on time for the next scheduled session on Thursday.

Things were even worse in the upper house. Senate President Martí Batres Guadarrama rang the opening bell at 11:43: the first session of the senators’ six-year terms in office was 43 minutes late starting and short 43 of the 128 senators.

Earlier this week the two congressional leaders, both members of the Morena party, announced they would work together on legislation to implement the 12-point plan outlined last month by president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador and a new congressional legislation to address corruption and legislative immunity (known as the fuero).

Source: El Universal (sp)

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