Last week’s exercise, in which for the first time the Mexican people exercised participatory democracy and confirmed their omnipotent power, set a constitutional and irreversible precedent.
The referendum to decide whether Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador would remain as Mexico’s president showed that the people still believe in him: although less than 18 per cent of the electorate participated, almost 92 per cent voted for him to remain.
What is interesting about this referendum is that while the opposition called to abstain rather than vote to recall the president, Lopez Obrador actively promoted the referendum.
The important thing is that the right of the people to remove and replace is enshrined in the constitution and that, from now on, every citizen who assumes the office of the highest magistracy of the nation can be removed before the end of his or her six-year term if the people so decide.
Therein lies Lopez Obrador’s triumph and not so much in the fact, also of great importance, that 9 out of 10 Mexicans who went to the polls ratified him as the president of the Republic.
From now on, the opposition will be able, as planned, to present all the challenges and appeals it wishes, but the legal, institutional, political, ideological and mass fact that reaffirms participatory democracy as the only practical disjunctive, that the people are the sovereign, will be impossible for them to eliminate, according to specialists.
They agree with the analysis of the leaders of the ruling Morena party in describing this as a historically significant action by the Mexican people, who, despite the highly elusive manoeuvres of their opponents, were unable to block the process.
The significance of the success is increased by the fact that nearly 20 million people participated out of the 90 million called for, without more than two thirds of the necessary ballot boxes being installed, and the 57,000 that were set up in places selected to make access more difficult and confusing, and on the first day of the Easter diaspora. The blocking of this unprecedented democratic act in Mexico left the National Action, Institutional Revolutionary, Democratic Revolutionary and Citizen’s Movement parties in a very bad position, whose leaders will find it extremely difficult to overcome the defeat and its future repercussions in the 2024 presidential elections.
Morena has warned them of their political and even ideological fragility, as demonstrated in events of importance for Mexico, such as this referendum in favour of participatory democracy, which they should defend instead of attacking, and the electricity reform to strengthen national sovereignty.
But this accelerates Lopez Obrador’s decision to present to Congress an initiative for the reform of the judiciary, which basically includes its electoral bodies.
If the aim of the referendum was to avoid strengthening Lopez Obrador, and in particular his Fourth Transformation government programme, they failed, and it is impossible to hide it, say Morena leaders.
On the contrary, those who were weakened were the leaders of these four parties whose militants were advised to take yesterday’s events into account and force them to rectify their campaign to support foreign companies on the issue of electricity reform and lithium for Mexicans. (PL)