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Legality ignored

OPINION: The politicians' lack of a culture of accepting defeat, the existence of irregularities in the campaigns and the distrust of citizens are phenomena that encourage the results of an election to be questioned
File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
15/06/2017
10:29
Mexico City
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As a reflection of a democratic system that is still in consolidation, Mexico has rarely managed to shake off the effervescence - crisis, some call it - that often appears in the post-election stage. The politicians' lack of a culture of accepting defeat, the existence of irregularities in the campaigns and the distrust of citizens are phenomena that encourage the results of an election to be questioned, especially if the difference between first and second place is only of a few percentage points.

Until now, in the absence of a second round of elections, which could give greater certainty to the results, the country's attempt to calm this effervescence is the Electoral Tribunal of the Judicial Power of the Federation, whose recent creation is subject to challenge.

In November, the seven judges who comprise it were renewed; From that designation on, the duration of the charges would be given in a staggered manner. Three were elected for a period of nine years, two for six years and two for three. After they protested, the Organic Law of the electoral court was modified to change the duration of four of the judges, who had to protest again. The decision divided senators.

For that reason, the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation received two actions of unconstitutionality.

The judgment draft prepared by the minister rapporteur proposes to declare the rule unconstitutional. Amongst the points he mentions, two stand out: first, the principle of non-retroactivity of the law was violated, and then, if the amendment were accepted, nothing would prevent the legislator from changing the judges' periods again, with the justification of regulating once again the differentiated staggering, which would affect the autonomy and judicial independence.

The document of the Court recognizes the powers that the Legislative Power has to regulate the staggering, but by doing so after the conclusion of the process of designation of judges, the Congress exceeded its functions.

The decision that the Congress adopted last November on the members of the electoral tribunal has at least two readings that fall on the negative ground.

On the one hand, the modification of the judges' positions only raises doubts in one of the organisms that must be left out of any indication of suspicion of political control or violation of the law. Secondly, if the Court approves the draft judgment, it would be confirmed that the legislators adopted powers that do not correspond to them and proceeded without little attachment to the law.

The future will never be bright for the country if the law, which should govern public life, is ignored by those most obliged to abide by it.

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