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What will they think of next?

12 July 2018

There’s been a lot of on-line discussion of what the incoming AMLO administration might do (like legalizing marijuana for personal use) than there has of what the president-elect and his cabinet are doing ahead of taking possession of the government in December.  While AMLO has assuaged the business community talking about what his government is NOT planning to do (renationalize key industries, interfere with the independent Banco de México, raise gasoline prices…) we are starting to get a feel for what is coming:  less glamorous big-ticket projects and splashy front-page thrillers like truth commissions (though those could be coming too) than wonkish administrative and budgetary changes.

Meeting with the incoming congressional representatives elected on the “Together We Make History” coalition (Morena, Workers’ and Social Encounter parties), AMLO has outlined his legislative agenda for the incoming administration.

First up: fulfilling a popular campaign promise, he would like to eliminate presidential pensions, arguing that as state employees, former presidents are already covered by the ISSSTE (the social security program for government employees) and, besides, he hopes to raise old age payments which will cover ex-presidents over 66 years old.  

Speaking of Presidents, AMLO is also pushing “his” congress to fix the loopholes in that pesky paragraph in Article 127 of the Constitution that mandates federal officials be paid a lesser salary than the president. e would like to see changes in the regulatory laws covering Article 127 of the Constitution. That article mandates that no official receive a salary greater than the President, but … there’s salaries, and then there are… oh… “expense accounts” and other creative ways around that.

And, I guess cutting down the presidency will apply to him too. AMLO is seeking a change in Article 108 of the Constitution to allow for sitting presidents to be tried for electoral or corruption charges. Incidentally, this would also eliminate immunity from all public officials. A separate proposal would open the way for citizens to recall elected officials, and to influence legislation by way of referendum.

In a bow to “law and order” types, now that Mexico has changed its legal system to allow suspects to post bail, AMLO is supporting a move to remove corruption, election fraud and fuel theft from the list of bailable offenses.

Eventually, he’d like to transfer responsibility for preparing the federal budget to the Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit. That makes sense.

As does transferring the “Estado Mayor” … the Presidential army… back to the Department of Defense. While there has been some rumblings from the military, and from civilians, about this, AMLO had made doing away with this special force (which includes not only special forces soldiers, but a battalion or two of paratroopers, intelligence officers and even a ceremonial artillery unit) and making do with a “normal” Secret Service type security force.

He also wants to do both water privatization and re-do educational reforms. When it comes to education, one constitutional change being envisioned is to clarify in Article 3 of the Constitution that the right to free public education covers education at all academic levels.

The congress, according to AMLO and his advisers is also being urged to consider an increased minimum wage, at least in the northern border region.

And, if the agenda isn’t full enough, the incoming administration’s austerity plan will require changes in laws and regulations, to carry out plans to merge certain departments and programs, eliminate some cabinet under-secretarial positions, and redefine the roles of some unionized public service workers.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. 12 July 2018 6:30 pm

    Andy Lopez is “The Man”… Go get ’em Andy !!!

  2. 19 July 2018 5:04 pm

    This sounds exactly like what Mexico needs: nothing splashy, but some detail-oriented good governance that sets the stage for a steady reduction in public corruption, waste, fraud and abuse. I wish him well in his endeavor.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Redding, CA
    Where local TV news completely ignores local government.

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