(NewsReady.com) – Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, also known as AMLO, rode a populist wave into office in 2018. He sold himself as the solution to the corruption that has long plagued the North American country. Experts argue he is now destroying the nation from the inside, and yet, he recently made a wild claim about the United States.
On Monday, February 27, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price criticized Mexico for election reforms that experts have said will hurt the country. AMLO moved to shrink the Mexican National Electoral Institute, a nonpartisan, government-funded office that oversees elections to make sure they are free and fair. For more than 30 years, the institute has safeguarded democracy in the Latin country.
A statement from Price supported protests that broke out in the country on Sunday, saying a “great debate on electoral reforms” were a demonstration of Mexico’s “vibrant democracy.” He said the US “respect[s] Mexico’s sovereignty” but made it clear the US supports the National Electoral Institute.
Mexico's electoral reforms have generated great debate – a hallmark of a vibrant democracy. We respect Mexico’s sovereignty and believe a well-resourced, independent electoral system and respect for judicial independence support healthy democracy. https://t.co/gwNpTVZFwV
— Ned Price (@StateDeptSpox) February 27, 2023
The Associated Press reported AMLO rejected the remarks by Price. He claimed, “there is more democracy in Mexico than could exist in the United States.” He challenged the US to a debate about the issue and claimed he has evidence to prove just how free his country is.
Not everyone would agree with the Mexican president’s sentiments. Lorenzo Córdova, head of the National Electoral Institute, told The Atlantic that AMLO’s electoral reforms will make the country’s elections less secure. In fact, he might be forced to fire 85% of his agency’s employees, which would make it almost impossible to recruit poll workers, much less train them. Another official said the result of the reforms could be that for the first time since the Mexican revolution, more than a century ago, the country might not have a Congress installed.
Ultimately, Mexico’s courts will decide whether to uphold the reforms.
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