Political Thermometer - A Constitution for Mexico City?

April 10, 2013
Political Thermometer - A Constitution for Mexico City?

The political temperature in Mexico appears to be stable only three months shy of the July elections. However, in Mexico City, the seat of Mexico's federal government, the reforms commenced by the local administration under Marcelo Ebrard have continued under the new Head of Government of the Federal District, Miguel Mancera. Mexico City is at the forefront of the country on a number of issues, with the notable exception of the political rights of the Federal District's citizens, which are inferior to the rights and privileges enjoyed by all other Mexican citizens. In his report on the first 100 days in office, Mancera stated that he would advance political reforms and would fight for the promulgation of a Constitution for the Federal District. This project has been long awaited by the residents of Mexico City and does not have the same political significance for residents in other Mexican states. Mexico City is the most important political, economic, legal, cultural and social space in Mexico. Mexico derived its idea to designate a location as the headquarters of the federal government and to confer upon Congress the authority to legislate in such territory from the Constitution of the United States. In the United States, such territory is Washington, D.C., while the Federal District serves this role in Mexico. The idea to promulgate a Constitution for the Federal District would provide the capital city and its inhabitants with full rights and would prevent the Federal District from being dependent on the federal government in key areas. The Federal District is not free and sovereign, as is the case with the other states in Mexico. The internal regulations of the Federal District are determined by Mexico's Congress and not its local Federal District lawmaking body, the Legislative Assembly. There are no municipalities in the Federal District, as in the other states in Mexico, but rather Political Districts known as "Delegations" (Delegaciones). Some of the Federal District's local boards and commissions are subordinate to the federal authorities, who may remove, revoke or supervise such bodies. It is highly likely that this idea will come to fruition and that the Federal District, or D.F. as it is commonly known, will have a constitution, much like the Argentina's capital city of Buenos Aires. In Argentina, capital city residents live under the Constitution of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, which was promulgated in 1996 and gave the capital district political autonomy and equal rights to its residents. In accordance with the promotion of this idea, the political temperature in the Federal District will likely rise. Although the idea of a constitution for the Federal District seems to be reasonably feasible, one should keep in mind that the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) is currently at the helm of the federal government, while the local government of the Federal District is in the hands of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD). Consequently, a heated political debate on the proposed Federal District constitution can be expected.

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