Political Thermometer

January 26, 2022
Political Thermometer

The removal from office process, or recall, is a direct democratic process through which citizens decide whether an elected official should continue to serve until the expiration of his or her term, or be removed, under certain preestablished rules. This means that citizens decide if an elected official is to remain in office. This mechanism was introduced in the Mexican Constitution as a citizens’ right, and it has been the most discussed issue in Mexico’s political debate. Since his campaign, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador proposed that he would promote the recall process under the premise that “the people elect, and the people recall”. The President offered that at the midterm of his mandate he would propose a public consultation to determine if he should or should not continue in office. The topic has since become the most relevant issue for purposes of the Mexican political thermometer, as it has created a noteworthy divide in the general electorate. A significant number of opposing political parties, that typically would desire the President to end his administration are paradoxically opposing the recall process. They consider such a political scheme by the President to secure his power and demonstrate that the people would like to expand his constitutional term. Another group, for different reasons, is opposing this process under the premise that if the result of the consultation is that the President should be recalled, the constitutional mechanisms for a presidential substitution would cause political tension.  To further complicate things, the recall process would require a substantial investment. Mexico’s National Electoral Institute (INE), the entity with the authority to organize the recall process, has stated that it does not have sufficient funds to operate this extra democratic procedure. The President and some representatives in Congress have stated that the INE should have assumed a commitment to austerity to enable it to have enough resources to conduct the recall. This topic will continue to attract the most attention in Mexico and will further elevate the temperature of the political thermometer.

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