Mexico's Senate approves electoral reform bill

  • World
  • Thursday, 23 Feb 2023

FILE PHOTO: A view shows senators during a session at Mexico's senate as they discusses an initiative by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to give the Army control over the civilian-led National Guard, at Mexico's Senate building, in Mexico City, Mexico September 8, 2022. REUTERS/Henry Romero

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's Senate approved on Wednesday a controversial electoral reform known as 'Plan B', which President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador lobbied heavily for and critics have warned could undermine democracy.

The initiative will be sent to Lopez Obrador to sign into law.

The changes look to reorganize and redefine the administrative tasks of the National Electoral Institute (INE) in part by shrinking its budget and watering down its faculties, drawing heated criticism from opposition lawmakers, who fear the changes would give too much power to the government.

Lopez Obrador, a leftist populist who professes austerity in his management of Latin America's second largest economy, has touted that the changes, including the closing of INE offices, will allow $150 million a year in savings, strengthen democracy and reduce the influence of economic interests in politics.

Opposition lawmakers and members of civil society have said they will ask the courts to deem the reform unconstitutional.

(Reporting by Adriana Barrera and Diego Ore; Writing by Carolina Pulice; Editing by Anthony Esposito and Sandra Maler)

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