situation report

Mexico: Senate Begins Special Session on Constitutional Reform

2 MINS READJun 19, 2019 | 16:51 GMT

What Happened: The Mexican Senate will hold a special session beginning June 19 to discuss a pending constitutional reform that would allow for both popular referendums and recalls of elected officials, La Silla Rota reported June 18. Both houses in Congress will hold additional readings before voting to approve the amendment.

Why It Matters: Should it eventually clear both houses of Congress, the reform risks introducing greater long-term uncertainty into Mexican politics by allowing citizens to cast legally-binding votes on more subjects of political importance. Voters could conceivably undo controversial legislative initiatives or even individual investments, such as onshore energy projects. An unpopular leader could also be recalled and potentially replaced by a very different leader, opening the door for sharp political swings. 

Background: Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador first proposed the constitutional reform on the campaign trail, and has since gone about getting it approved while he still has significant majorities in Congress ahead of the 2021 legislative election. He still needs to win over 10 more votes in the Senate to secure the two-thirds majority required to pass the reform. 

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