Magazine article SourceMex Economic News & Analysis on Mexico

Pri-Dominated Yucatan State Legislature Defies Federal Electoral Tribunal

Magazine article SourceMex Economic News & Analysis on Mexico

Pri-Dominated Yucatan State Legislature Defies Federal Electoral Tribunal

Article excerpt

Tensions are increasing between the Yucatan state legislature, dominated by the long-governing Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI), and a federal electoral tribunal regarding the composition of the state's electoral board (Consejo Estatal Electoral, CEE).

The Tribunal Electoral del Poder Judicial de la Federacion (TEPJF), acting on complaints from the conservative Partido Accion Nacional (PAN) and the center-left Partido de la Revolucion Democratica (PRD), has ruled that the PRI- dominated state legislature had improperly filled the CEE with PRI supporters.

The TEPJF, formed in 1997 as part of former President Ernesto Zedillo's democratic reforms, has the task of resolving voting conflicts, primarily those involving the election of federal senators and deputies and the president. The tribunal is also authorized to rule in state conflicts when constitutional violations are suspected.

In mid-November, the TEPJF ordered the Yucatan state legislature to dissolve the CEE immediately and devise a fairer method for selecting members to the electoral board. The legislature refused to comply with the TEPJF, accusing the state electoral court of interfering with the sovereign rights of Yucatan state.

Faced with the intransigence of the state legislature, the TEPJF issued a second order in mid-December, giving the Yucatan Congress 24 hours to comply. State legislators again refused, citing their constitutional right.

"There isn't a single line in the federal Constitution that allows the tribunal to do the job of the state Congress and designate the state electoral council," said PRI federal Deputy Jorge Carlos Ramirez Marin, who represents Yucatan state in the lower house.

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State PAN and PRD officials have accused Gov. Victor Cervera Pacheco and the state legislature of attempting to use the same tactics in Yucatan as former PRI Gov. …

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