Mexico approves recall election and referendums

The opposition claims this could set a precedent to allow presidential re-election in Mexico

Mexico approves recall election and referendums
President López Obrador has said he will resign if people vote against him in 2022 - Photo: Edgard Garrido/REUTERS
English 16/10/2019 13:20 Reuters y redacción Mexico City Anthony Esposito, Lizbeth Diaz Actualizada 13:29

Leer en español

Mexican lawmakers have approved a controversial bill that will give Mexican society a chance to vote to either retain or remove a President halfway through their six-year term.

The controversial plan for a “recall vote” was then passed by the lower chamber.

During his presidential campaign and early days as Mexico's President, López Obrador vowed to hold a referendum halfway through his presidential term but opposition lawmakers were concerned that it would strengthen the Mexican President and possibly subvert a current ban on a President serving more than one term.

The Mexican Senate approved the bill with 98 votes in favor, 22 votes against, and 1 abstention. Under the proposed constitutional changes, Mexicans will be able to vote on López Obrador in March 2022.

Nevertheless, critics say the mid-term presidential vote would allow López Obrador to place himself at the center of the campaign for mid-term elections for the lower chamber, which will be held on June 2021.

The opposition expressed concern, as the measure could be used to encourage support to allow a President to be reelected for a second term.

In June, López Obrador proposed in holding a recall referendum on March 21, 2021, if Congress could not reach an agreement to pass the bill.