© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador delivers a speech to current a package deal of constitutional reforms, together with on the judiciary, electoral system, salaries, and pensions, on the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico February 5, 20
By Diego Oré
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – The bumper reforms package deal Mexico’s president stitched collectively within the dying days of his presidency could fizzle within the legislature but it surely factors to his want to construct a legacy and mildew the political agenda of his handpicked successor.
Making no secret that the package deal is an try to affect the controversy earlier than the June 2 ballot his protégé Claudia Sheinbaum is favored to win, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has conceded it is unlikely Congress would go lots of his proposed 18 constitutional and two authorized reforms.
Yet the breadth of the modifications spanning beneficiant pensions, above-inflation minimal wake hikes, election of judges by a well-liked vote and lots of different modifications could put the opposition on the defensive whereas leaving his stamp on the nation, analysts say.
“This legislative package seeks to consolidate his legacy by changing many of the institutions set up since the 1980s that he believes were designed to benefit special interests,” stated Daniel Kerner, Eurasia’s managing director for Latin America.
The package deal, which might hike pensions to cowl 100% of ultimate salaries of some staff, doubles up as an try to “shape” Sheinbaum’s coverage program, Kerner added.
Other key reforms envisage abolishing many autonomous and regulatory our bodies which act as a verify on presidential energy and lowering the dimensions of a Congress Lopez Obrador deems bloated.
As the president’s ruling Morena get together lacks a professional majority in Congress needed to alter the structure, it’s more likely to be all the way down to Mexico City Mayor Sheinbaum to take the baton given her extensive ballot lead within the presidential race.
Some opposition events have already introduced that they are going to solely help a handful of the proposed modifications – depriving Lopez Obrador of an opportunity to deepen what he phrases Mexico’s “Fourth Transformation”, his nationwide revival mission.
The most certainly reforms to go are the least contentious ones, together with prohibiting animal abuse, establishing additional help for agricultural staff and an obligation to lift the minimal wage above inflation.
Targeting Mexico’s huge earnings hole, Lopez Obrador’s administration has raised the minimal wage by double digits yearly since he took workplace on the finish of 2018. The coverage has been one among Morena’s hottest provided that roughly half of Mexicans earn the minimal wage.
Still, Lopez Obrador could have succeeded in placing the opposition in a bind. If they vote down well-liked reforms like his pension hike plan which critics slam as endangering fiscal stability and undermining investor confidence, they danger being perceived as a brake on prosperity, analysts say.
And if Lopez Obrador’s administration rams by all, or some, of the proposals, will probably be a triumph that indicators to many the necessity to hold Morena in energy.
“Without a doubt the president has made an interesting cocktail with this decision: he dominates the media agenda, offers his candidates a popular electoral script and forces the opposition to define itself and puts them on the defensive,” stated Antonio Ocaranza, analyst and one-time spokesman for ex-president Ernesto Zedillo.
Lopez Obrador’s critics dismiss the reforms as an try to distract from his failures like rampant drug violence and a weak public healthcare system. His administration has additionally fallen quick in addressing the nation’s worsening water shortages.
Yet Lopez Obrador’s populist package deal appears to be like like a wining electoral technique, Ocaranza stated.
“It has been a master move to dominate the conversation until election day,” he added.
($1 = 17.0760 Mexican pesos)