Friday, December 8, 2023

Public will vote on controversial extension of Baja governor’s term

The public will have the final say on whether the term of the next Baja California governor is extended from two years to five.

The state Congress yesterday approved the creation of a special commission tasked with carrying out a citizens’ consultation to determine whether incoming Morena party governor Jaime Bonilla will remain in office until 2021 or 2024.

The Congress in July ratified a reform that extends Bonilla’s term but is now seeking public support for the decision.

Seventeen deputies from Morena, the Ecological Green Party (PVEM) and the Labor Party (PT) voted in favor of creating the special commission, while seven lawmakers voted against the proposal presented by Congress president Catalino Zavala.

The commission will be made up of Morena, PVEM and PT lawmakers.

Institutional Revolutionary Party deputy David Ruvalcaba argued that there is no legal foundation for the creation of such a commission, and charged that its establishment will represent a conflict of interest because its members will include lawmakers from the soon-to-be ruling party.

In the proposal presented to Congress, Zavala – a Morena party deputy – said that in consideration of the controversy surrounding the decision to extend Bonilla’s term, the aim of the consultation is to give “greater democratic legitimacy to the constitutional reform,” which was first passed on July 8.

“This democratic exercise will allow residents of Baja California to directly voice their opinion about a process that directly concerns them . . . Therefore, we expect great participation and interest from citizens.”

The original decision by Congress to extend Bonilla’s term was widely condemned. National Electoral Institute councilor Pamela San Martín described the move as unconstitutional.

“It overrides jurisdictional decisions, and violates the election of June 2 when voters chose a governor for two years, not five,” she said.

Bonilla, who has said that he will respect any decision by the Supreme Court with respect to the length of his term, will take office on November 1.

Source: El Universal (sp) 

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