Will Mexico take legal action against ex-presidents?

President López Obrador is pushing for a referendum to decide the future of ex-presidents

Will Mexico take legal action against ex-presidents?
Critics are the President is using the referendum for political purposes- Photo: Christian Palma/AP
English 27/08/2020 08:59 Mexico City Editorial Actualizada 09:08
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The federal government has created a group in Congress to push for the inclusion of a referendum during the 2021 elections. Moreover, today EL UNIVERSAL published a survey that shows that the majority of Mexicans approve the idea to take legal action against former presidents. 

Doing surveys or launching referendums where the response is almost obvious is unnecessary and even malicious. It is a plan with specific purposes hiding under the cover of a popular participation exercise. 

Although President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is employing resources and legal procedures that allow him to call for a referendum, it must become clear that taking legal action against former president is not something that should be decided through a referendum, moreover, it should not have electoral purposes. However, a referendum would have to be approved by Congress. 

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As journalist José Carreño Carlón said yesterday, including the referendum in the upcoming 2021 federal elections would only harm the electoral process and would evidence the subordination of the Judiciary at the hands of the Executive Branch, in case the referendum is approved, calling the role of the tribunals and the Attorney General’s Office into question. 

Mexico has progressed in the implementation of the rule of law in recent years; therefore, a referendum would marginalize the law. When a government subjects what the laws dictate to a public discussion, it is ignoring all the effort behind the law to punish a public servant when they misuse their position. This is not a democratic exercise. 

If there are elements to investigate ex-presidents and if authorities confirm they committed a crime, the Mexican government must enforce the law without any other motivation besides justice. Political vendettas and political campaigns should also be banned. During uncertain and critical times, stirring up the waters will not be beneficial for the country. 

gm

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