Why are the vultures coming back?

Public officers abuse their power and reelect themselves term after term

Why are the vultures coming back?
Mexican Congress - Photo: File Photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 05/07/2018 09:51 Mexico City Newspaper Leader Actualizada 13:31

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What job allows you to be absent for up to 6 months and in most cases fully paid, to look for a better position? What job allows the absentee to go back to their daily tasks and get paid? In the private sector, no company would allow it. It's a common practice within the public administration.

During the electoral campaigns, which concluded last week, at least 795 candidates asked for a leave of absence for their positions as City Councilman, Mayor, Congressman (local or federal), Senator and even Governor, in order to compete for another position by popular vote. Some applied from other parties and some as independent candidates.

Jaime Rodríguez is between the most famous of those vultures, he asked a leave of absence to the government of Nuevo León to compete for the Mexican Presidency, although in his case it meant taking a 6-month vacation. There's also Baja California Sur's congressman, who intended to stay in the local legislature, but as a candidate from another party.

The Congress was also a victim of these vultures. During the 63rd Legislature's last term, the Congress worked with 144 substitutes (almost a third), because the majority of the congressmen asked for a leave of absence to obtain a new position in public office. During a single Congress Session, on March 22, the Board of Director of the Chamber of Deputies approved the absence of leave for 51 lawmakers.

Now, having learned the results of the election, 76 congressmen returned to their “legislative role” in the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. Their return is exclusively to cash in their monthly diet aid and the additional income provided by the Congress and its legislators because the legislator's individual offices are being dismantled, renovated and assigned to the congressmen and senators or the 64th Legislature, who arrive in less than two months. Also, the Legislative Commission have already ended their sessions.

Not everyone who came back was defeated: four legislators succeeded, but since they won't take office until 3 to 6 months, they will take advantage and be paid, at least, the legislative session's last two months, that end on August 31st and comprises very little activity.

The return of these legislators, who today are being held accountable by THE UNIVERSAL. Although lawful, they have a very unfavorable take on politics. They show a never-ending greed for public resources and a virtual abuse of public office. Those defeated should question themselves if the reason for their loss was, precisely, their grip on privileges that most of the population lacks. It seems they didn't learn their lesson.