The President’s power might increase

Off the Record features fact-checked news written by journalists and contributors to EL UNIVERSAL

The President’s power might increase
In early May, the President might be able to modify the 2020 budget - Photo: Germán Espinosa/EL UNIVERSAL
English 29/04/2020 11:00 Mexico City Off the Record Actualizada 11:13
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The President’s power might increase

The Executive Branch has the power to decide almost every bill voted at Congress, in early May, President López Obrador will have the power to modify, in case of emergency, the 2020 budget, but just once. Lawmaker Mario Delgado and senator Ricardo Monreal are ready for the event, and once the decree is published, two things will take place: President López Obrador will order the necessary changes be made to the 2020 budget and try to mitigate the negative effects COVID-19 generated on the health and economic sectors. Those who disagree with the decree, the PRI, PAN, and MC, will likely ask the Supreme Court to brand the move as unconstitutional. Lawyers and Morena lawmaker Porfirio Muñoz Ledo have warned that the President’s power will increase. 

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The opposition vs. Morena

We’ve been told that Marko Cortés, the PAN leader, asked the opposition to come together to prevent a possible call for an extraordinary period in order to approve a presidential initiative that allows the President to control the budget in case of emergencies. Next Thursday, the permanent commission will start working, and if a bill to modify the budget is ready by them, Morena will call for an extraordinary session to vote it. This is exactly when the PAN leader is hoping the opposition blocks Morena and President López Obrador. We’ve been reminded that the permanent commission is formed by 37 lawmaker and 25 votes are required to call for an extraordinary period; however, Morena and its allies only have 24 votes, therefore, if the opposition comes together, them might block the bill. 

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Will bankers show their solidarity?

The solidarity of bankers is being tested. In recent days, negotiations between the Infonavit and banks have been intense as they try to reach an agreement so that extensions are granted to 533,000 people who have a mortgage financed by both. We’ve been told that the negotiations with some banks haven’t been easy but that in the end, it is expected that they will reach an agreement. Will they expose those banks who refused to join the initiative?

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Why didn’t Mexico rely on COVID-19 tests?

Some scientists doubt and have criticized the way in which the World Health Organization and the Pan-American Health Organization have handled the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in regards to the number of tests in poor countries. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has been criticized for not considering that some countries are unable to purchase tests. Nevertheless, in the case of Mexico, the argument is not necessarily true because it is a developing country but did not purchase a large number of tests. In this case, scientists consider that the government’s strategy was not to spend too much money on tests even if it had the necessary resources. We will find out if this was the right decision soon.

Recommended: COVID-19 Live Updates: Mexico

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