Mexico: Can President AMLO Be Removed?

When López Obrador Reaches Three Years And Three Months in Power, 3% Of the Population May Request His Revocation.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Constitutional President of the United Mexican States, during his morning conference

Mexico is on the verge of a democratic process never before seen in history: the revocation of a presidential mandate. Photo: Wikimedia-EneasMx

LatinAmerican Post| Juan Manuel Londoño

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Leer en español: México: ¿se puede revocar al presidente AMLO?

Mexico is on the verge of an unprecedented democratic process: the revocation of a presidential mandate. Three months after the third constitutional year of the Executive Branch is completed, three percent of the population, from at least 17 states, may request the National Electoral Institute (INE) the early completion of the work of the current president.

What at first was conceived as a mechanism to perpetuate power and favor the candidates of the midterm elections, today is a constitutional opportunity that has been given to the opposition, since the request for the revocation of mandate has been endorsed by the INE, the current president would have to exceed the absolute majority (of at least 40% of the nominal list) of the vote to stay in power.


But, if the mandate is revoked, what would happen to the presidential position? To answer this, it is necessary to return to article 84 of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States (CPEUM). This article establishes that in the event of the absolute absence of the president, the Congress of the Union will constitute an Electoral College, which will designate the interim president (in case the absence occurs in the first 2 years) or the person who will preside the Executive Power for the rest of the constitutional period (in case the fault occurred in the last 4 years).

If the revocation of the mandate occurs, the president of Congress will be the one who occupies the position of president for the first month, being the president of the Chamber of Deputies the one who would assume the position.

Also read: Elections in Mexico: Will López Obrador pay for his mistakes?

Once this has been done, Congress must follow the presidential substitution procedure established in Article 84, under the premise that the absolute absence occurred in the last 4 years of mandate. However, here are a couple of interesting  points that must be explored.

The first one is that, according to the last paragraph of article 84 of the CPEUM, in the event of revocation, the provisions of the second paragraph of that same article will apply; that same paragraph does not authorize the provisional president to change cabinet members, unless authorized by the Senate of the Republic.

Secondly, if the President of the Chamber of Deputies will occupy the presidency of the republic for 30 days, who will preside over the Congress of the Union at the time of establishing itself as an Electoral College and appointing the new president of the republic? In this scenario, it will be one of the vice presidents of the Chamber of Deputies who temporarily occupies the Presidency of the Board of Directors

It is extremely pertinent to ask this now that the date on which this process may be requested is close, and it shows the importance of issuing the regulatory law for the revocation of the mandate.

When this constitutional reform was approved in 2019, the members of the Congress of the Union committed to issuing a law that would regulate this process, but to date, there is no proposal that allows the electoral body to conduct itself under this innovation of Mexican democracy.

In early 2022, the people of Mexico will be able to decide if they want their president to leave, but the uncertainty of a legal mechanism to achieve this will generate innumerable controversies in the process.