The INE must be an autonomous and democratic institute

The INE improved electoral processes and democracy in Mexico

The INE must be an autonomous and democratic institute
In 2014, the INE confirmed its national outreach through a new political reform - Photo: Alejandro Zepeda/EL UNIVERSAL
English 06/07/2020 09:15 Mexico City Editorial Actualizada 09:22
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As a democratic society, Mexico is still in its early stages. It wasn’t too long ago when society didn’t know what clean elections, political alternation, and equity during elections meant. Is it really necessary to remind the reader that for over seven decades all Presidents came from the same political party? During those times, the President’s will was the only driving force in the country; therefore, society and political parties didn’t have a voice. 

For the Mexican population under 25-years-old, it is normal to live in a free country with different political options, but democracy was built little by little through the years.

Several experts agree that democracy’s starting point took place in 1977 when Jesús Reyes Heroles pushed for the first political reform after José López Portillo was the only candidate during the 1976 elections. Another key event took place 14 later when the Federal Electoral Institute was created in 1990, as well as with the formation of citizen counselors in 1994. In 2014, the electoral institute’s confirmed its national outreach through a new political reform. 

The presence of the electoral institute has contributed to pacific political transitions and to solve any irregularity through the law. The institute has even proposed to invalidate some elections, which has been decided by the Electoral Tribunal under the Judicial Branch. According to its statistics, between 2015 and 2019, political alternation took place in 23 governorships.  

Recommended: Mexico's efficient electoral system 

Furthermore, elections in Mexico are not organized by civilians and they also count the votes on election day. The federal government is not involved in this process; nevertheless, in recent days President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has mentioned his intention to become a “guardian of elections.”

In an interview with EL UNIVERSAL, Lorenzo Córdova, the head of the National Electoral Institute (INE), mentions that autonomy has always been at risk because they take faculties away from executive powers to create a counterbalance.

However, many other situations at the INE must be questioned: the political party’s involvement at the electoral institute to designate a certain number of counselors and the privileges for the bureaucracy. Everyone would agree with a democracy that wouldn’t have such a high price for the country but Congress should be in charge of this, and not through an imposition from the Executive Branch.

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