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War over Nieto

Under Reserve features fact-checked news written by journalists and contributors to EL UNIVERSAL
Santiago Nieto, former Electoral Crimes Prosecutor - File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
25/10/2017
10:00
Mexico City
OPINION: Under Reserve
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War over Nieto

None seems to be budging an inch in this new war in the Senate, caused by the discharge of Santiago Nieto, head of the Specialized Attorney's Office against Electoral Crimes (FEPADE). The group of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), led by Emilio Gamboa, insists on an urn vote to decide Nieto's future; the opposition (formed by the National Action Party, the Democratic Revolution Party, and the Labour Party – also representing the National Regeneration Party) are calling for an open vote. We're told the PRI members have been ordered to “give no quarter” during the session scheduled for today at noon. Their rivals will not relent, though, and plan to take over the stand once more to put more pressure on the PRI. Yet, our sources say the PRI members are determined not to give into the demands of the opposition, under the argument that the Nieto case has 10 working days to be heard and voted on. The PRI members are certainly in no rush and are mocking the others, with the phrase: “They're obstructing the case of the #ElectoralProsecutorBuddy...”

The vote of the PAN “rebels”

Yesterday when the opposition took the stand protesting against the voting method on the destitution of former head of the Specialized Attorney's Office against Electoral Crimes (FEPADE), Santiago Nieto, the “rebel” senators of the National Action Party (PAN) decided to stay out of the whole thing. The senator Roberto Gil stood up and walked to the Executive Board to talk with the president of the Senate, Ernesto Cordero, who was calling to order, while senator Javier Lozano kept to the back of the room together with Héctor Larios. Senators from the opposition tell us they have their reserves on the “rebels” voting for the reinstatement of Nieto, which is why they are counting their votes within the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and Green Party bloc. On which side are the “rebels” in this fight?

The forward line of the UNAM

The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) has a magnificent forward line. No, no, no, we're not talking about their football team, the Pumas, who haven't been doing so well as of late. We're talking about the three key players who are backing the dean, Enrique Graue, in the task of getting from the Legislative Branch a budget which can allow the University to operate adequately. Mr. Enrique will visit today the members of the Budget and Public Account Commissions of the Chamber of Deputies. It's up to the legislators – who decide the 2018 Budget – whether the University will be able to face the challenge of providing an education to the highest number of first-year prospective students in the history of the country – in addition to continuing to supporting the refugees of the Technological Institute of Monterrey. Nevertheless, we've been told Graue has had the support of two of his colleagues and predecessors, José Narro and Juan Ramón de la Fuente, as well as that of the president of the UNAM Foundation, Dionisio Meade. With this forward line, the current dean is trying to win the match for the budget. Moreover, we're told it will be great for the cause the fact that Dionisio is receiving, in the next couple of hours, the Ricardo Flores Magón prize, and he can take advantage of the family reunion to advocate for the University, seeing that he is the father of the Minister of the Treasury, José Antonio Meade.

PRI Deputies sweat cold

It seems the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) sweated cold this last Tuesday at the Chamber of Deputies. During a meeting with the commisions of Budget and the Treasury, Jorge Chidiac and Jericó Abramo, heads of the economic department of the PRI, were stalling and making phone calls as they waited for the deputies to arrive at the meeting. The reason was simple: they were discussing the citizen's proposal, submitted by the PRI presidential candidate nominee Ivonne Ortega, to lower by 50% the Special Tax on Production and Services (IEPS) applicable to diesel and gasoline, which would drill a hole in the finances for $ 170 billion MXN. The meeting was scheduled at 10:00, yet it began at 11:00 because the PRI deputies and their allies couldn't reach the venue on time due to the demonstrations in San Lázaro. The PRI deputies were also joined by deputies of the National Action Party (PAN), Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), National Regeneration Party (MORENA), and the Citizen's Movement (MC). There were 45 votes in favour of the PRI and its allies, and 36 in favour of the opposition. “With people absent, we risked losing the vote,” confessed Mr. Jorge on the tardiness of his fellow colleges.

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