One of the recent changes in electoral legislation Mexico underwent was the possibility that any citizen could become a candidate for a public office without being backed by a political party. This right was included in the Mexican legislation after a resolution issued by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and it seemed to arrive at a moment when citizens were beginning to show they were weary of the attitudes and lifestyle of the political class.
During their first substantial appearance in 2015, independent candidates seemed to have considerable triumphs, winning several seats at both local and Federal Congresses, becoming City Mayors, and in one notable case, Governor of a state. In 2018, for the first time, independent candidates have the possibility of running for President, Mayor of Mexico City, and Senators, among other positions, although they'll have to gather signatures equivalent to 1% of the voters' list of their corresponding territories.
As participants of an electoral process, they are subjected to the laws applicable to all aspiring candidates to a public office...yet most of them have failed to comply with it.
publishes today that 9 out of the 12 aspiring independent candidates running for Mayor of Mexico City haven't provided with transparency the information regarding their incomes and expenses in signature gathering. They aren't the only ones. At the end of 2017, out of the 286 independent aspiring candidates, 231 (80%) didn't submit their expenditure and contributions report before the National Electoral Institute (INE) for their campaign-related activities. Pursuant to the Law, all aspiring candidates must submit their expenditure report, otherwise, they are not eligible to appear in the ballots.
The matter of transparency isn't the only issue with independent candidates. Last Thursday, the INE announced they will also investigate inconsistencies in the signature gathering process and the possible data traffic of the Federal Voter's List or voters' registration cards.
Most aspiring independent candidates belonged, at one point, to a political party but left said institutions claiming they wanted to offer new ways to do politics. Considering what we know so far, the shadow of lack of transparency and fraud looms over a good portion of them. It's a shame that just a few years after this Law pas passed, the value of this important reform is already being sullied.