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Zapata and Bohórquez: voters sent a message regarding corruption. Zapata and Bohórquez: the voters have spoken out.

Voters sent message regarding corruption

Transparency promoters say citizens care about the issue

For two observers of Mexican politics, the results of Sunday’s elections sent a clear message: corruption is a major concern for the people and voting has become a means for them to express their dissatisfaction with the status quo.

“In many of the states that held elections, where there were huge corruption scandals, the citizenry sent a clear message: ‘we’ve had enough, we care about corruption, and it won’t be tolerated anymore,’” said Alexandra Zapata, a researcher at Imco, the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness.

Interviewed by Milenio TV, Zapata and Eduardo Bohórquez, director of Transparencia Mexicana, celebrated the fact that following Sunday’s results there will be 22 “transparent” state governors in office, because that’s how may have disclosed their financial information.

Imco and Transparencia Mexicana have been behind the anti-corruption law 3de3, which seeks to have all public officials make their personal assets, financial interests and tax information public.

“Corruption is evidently an electoral issue. Of the 12 governors that won or are leading the polls, only two, from the states of Hidalgo and Tamaulipas, hadn’t presented their 3de3. In the other 10 cases, voters demanded that candidates make public their financial data,” explained Zapata.

The pundits added that to date almost 1,000 public officials and candidates have voluntarily complied with the proposed law, something they think should be seen by Senators as additional pressure to approve the anti-corruption legislation currently under discussion.

The National Anti-Corruption System is comprised of seven laws that are being debated in Congress. One of those, the Public Servant’s Administrative Responsibilities Law, is based on the 3de3 proposal.

Bohórquez expects that by next Monday, when an extraordinary session begins, legislators will have all their paperwork ready to discuss and approve the set of laws.

One of the major points of discussion is the inclusion of third parties in the 3de3 disclosure: spouses, parents and financial dependents of an elected official are not currently included under the argument that their data should be protected as they don’t hold public office.

Bohórquez disagrees, saying that 3de3 forms protect an individual’s personal data, such as bank account numbers or the exact amounts of funds held. The addresses of properties and the license plates of vehicles are also protected, he said.

The director of Transparencia Mexicana also said it will present a new proposal for an independent body to assess all 3de3 declaration forms because Congress “can’t be judge and jury.”

Source: Milenio (sp)

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