The INE is NOT touched, by Jorge Manriquez Centeno

Emergence of a social movement

The march this Sunday, November 13, 2022, held in several states of the country, and which had Mexico City as its epicenter, is a protest that was led by José Woldenberg, an emblematic figure of the transition to democracy, and it was articulated through the slogan of defending the autonomy of the INE.

A) Yes, “The INE is not touched”, seems to find in the leadership and figure of José Woldenberg, the necessary channeling to become a social movement that rationally and consistently challenges the presidential claim to transform the electoral system and its institutions.

What happened this Sunday was a social protest that demonstrated strength and ability to convoke, but that runs the risk of quickly dissipating, as the days go by, if this stage of social effervescence does not culminate with the appointment of a group or committee to represent them. and that at the same time demand a space for permanent participation in the work tables and legislative negotiation for the electoral reform.

The optimal thing would be to create a multidisciplinary technical committee in which specialists in the matter from academic institutions, such as the UNAM, participate, which is in charge of coordinating, organizing, evaluating and proposing to the legislature the previously agreed reform opinion on the matter, for further discussion in the respective committees.

This would make it possible to consolidate the “El INE no se toca” movement, and take advantage of the momentum of those thousands of citizens who participated in the march.

It is a necessary step that, in addition, the parties require, to legitimize the legislative work.

The INE is not touched”, was an unprecedented protest against the stubborn presidential initiative in electoral matters, which seemed that, after several months, it was walking towards its approval, due to the lobbying under the table between the partisan leaderships (with the exception of Movimiento Ciudadano ).

In that context, “The INE is not touched”, acquires relevance for the following aspects:

Muscle

Martí Batres, Secretary of the Government of Mexico City, immediately estimated between 10,000 and 12,000 attendees who gathered in the march that culminated in the Monument to the Revolution. Other media reported the participation of 640,000 people. Some portals reported other figures.

Like it or not, the march had contingents of tens of thousands of citizens, who arrived at the meeting to protest the dismantling of the INE.

Thousands more followed the event through social networks.

Other hundreds or thousands of people held rallies in different cities of the country.

The attention of the citizenry towards the electoral reform

Days before, and, of course, on November 13, the marches captured public opinion and unleashed waves of thousands of comments (for and against) from netizens.

Thus, many people who were not even aware of the electoral reform, surprisingly, focused their attention on the announcement of the disappearance of the INE, as the tip of the iceberg of the electoral reform.

Despite the fact that the political parties (it is in their nature) tried to monopolize the spotlight, without a doubt, it was a citizen’s march, which focused public attention on the presidential initiative for electoral reform and, above all, its purpose of forming single authorities in administrative (INE) and jurisdictional matters (Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judiciary), with the consequent disappearance of the OPLES, local courts and territorial structure of the INE.

Plurality

Those thousands of people, like it or not, are teachers, teachers of all school levels, housewives, students, artists, musicians, businessmen, workers, party activists and sympathizers, members of civil society organizations, employees and employees of the three orders of government, in a long et cetera, which chanted the slogan: “The INE is not touched”.

While in other underdeveloped countries progress is being made in the construction of the democratic regime, by using electronic voting, for example, in our country, the shadow of mistrust still surrounds the electoral institutions. We are still focused on saying “The INE is not touched” or conversely, that it disappears, without having information, analysis or diagnoses.

That is our reality.

Purpose

The INE is not touched”, like it or not, articulated the concern of broad sectors of society for the fate of the electoral referee, whose impartiality and autonomy is at the center of the struggle for power and the transition to the rickety democracy to which we have arrived.

The INE is not touched!”, “That’s why I came to defend the INE!”, “Mexico, Mexico!“I defend the INE!were some of the chants in defense of democracy, and of course they go deep, given that it is an unprecedented demonstration in this six-year term.

Woldenberg and the call to defend democracy

Woldenberg’s voice caught the attention:

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“We are gathered here with a single clear and transcendent objective: to defend the electoral system that several generations of Mexicans built, which has allowed the coexistence and competition of plurality and political stability, the peaceful transmission of public powers and the expansion of the liberties”.

All of this constitutes a common heritage and that is why we are here, citizens of very different political orientations and social extractions, party members, members of social organizations and people without political affiliation who want Mexico to be the home that shelters us all.

We call on all the parliamentary groups -yes, all- without exclusions or exceptions, those that make up the Chambers of the Federal Congress and the 32 congresses of the entities to defend what has been built on democratic matters and not lead our country to a stage fortunately surpassed: that of authoritarianism that was aided by electoral authorities in a manner.

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Woldenberg, like it or not, is an emblematic figure of the transition to procedural democracy that we have reached.

AMLO

There is no point in waiting for the “Morning” of this day, November 14, 2022.

AMLO put the cards on the table and they are visible to all, such as the disappearance of relative majority deputies, the elimination of ordinary public financing of political parties, the re-founding of the INE and TEPJF with the consequent centralization of the elections and disappearance of OPLES and local courts, transfer of the electoral roll to another institution, among other highly relevant issues.

AMLO intends to refound the electoral system and its institutions.

The problem is the forms and mechanics of work, as we have commented in another work.

What’s next…

The polarization is in sight.

Broad sectors of the population support the President of the Republic and the movement he leads.

On the other hand, “The INE is not touched”, reflects that other sectors of the population do not agree with his electoral project.

The INE is not touched”, can be consolidated as a social movement that transcends the march. The next step is for him to participate in the “analysis” table of the electoral reform.

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Range and muscle are your strength, but they can also be your weakness. Like any protest, it can fade due to the inertia of the days.

What is a reality is that nobody is convinced by the simulation of the legislative work tending to the approval of the electoral reform.

Disinformation

A fact that attracts attention regarding the electoral reform is misinformation, which is bad for many and good for few.

A large part of the population does not know the scope of the presidential initiative, which is the one that has captured the attention and public opinion. This, from a simple review of the hundreds of comments to the publications of digital portals such as Facebook either Twitterissued in the context of the marches.

towards a new path

A reading of what happened in the march on November 13 would imply a cautious analysis by Morena and her allies, to determine the steps to follow, including tempering the presidential spirits on the matter.

The logical thing would be that JUCOPO and the United Commissions for Political-Electoral Reform; Constitutional Points; and the Interior, reconsider the path that has become a simulation. The ideal is to form, via consensus, a multidisciplinary technical committee, responsible for the elaboration of the work agenda, where a national debate is possible on specific aspects in the matter and for the elaboration of the opinion proposal.

It is the ideal.

But…

It is the struggle for power and the parties, like it or not, have the upper hand. It takes more than one or several marches to bend the partisan leaders. The partidocracia knows how to adapt to attacks of all kinds. He knows how to “legitimize” himself. Therefore, including a committee, group or specialists from the movement at the negotiating table “The INE did not toucha”, is the most logical, to temper the public spirits.

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This yes the movement consolidates and demands to participate in such works. It is a logical and plausible step.

AMLO can squander his democratic bond if he does not see that this movement can consolidate and expand its political horizons.

The nature and scope of the movementThe INE is not touched”, are in the determination to stay away from the party leadership and in the leadership of Woldenberg.

Its strength is in the citizen core that makes it up.

But tempers are heated and political actors try to impose their vision and perspectives.

That’s why, yes the President wants spend a the history What propellant The transformation of our country, from power, and as an act of congruence, has the historical commitment to promote a reform of the state, and, in particular, in the electoral field, but with adherence to a citizen agenda.

The INE is not touched”, like it or not, is a strong, powerful voice.

AMLO has a date with history.

Time, glorious time, will tell us its verdict.


*Jorge Manriquez Centeno He is a specialist in political-electoral matters, human rights and parliamentary law. He graduated from the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences at UNAM, a lawyer, with postgraduate studies in public policy, human rights from FLACSO and a doctorate in Parliamentary Law from the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico. He is the former president of the Quintana Roo Electoral Institute (2009 to 2015) and former director of Political Parties of the same Institute (2003 to April 2009).

The INE is NOT touched, by Jorge Manriquez Centeno – Etcétera