November 6, 2019 / 2:54 AM / 17 days ago

Mexico Congress backs constitutional change to allow presidential recall vote

Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador shows a map of the area where members of a Mormon family were killed by unknown assailants near the U.S. border, at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico November 5, 2019. Press Office of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador/Handout via REUTERS

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico’s Congress approved a raft of constitutional changes on Tuesday that include permitting the right to a recall vote on the president, overriding opposition concerns it may open the door to allowing re-election of the country’s leader.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has pressed for the recall provision, arguing it should serve as a democratic check on his record. The president’s term is limited to six years and he has said several times he will not seek to change that.The opposition argued he wanted a recall vote to put himself onto an electoral ticket again midway through his term. To avoid that, the Senate agreed last month that any recall vote must be held after the legislative elections in 2021.

Concluding the approval process, the lower house of Congress voted by 372-75 to endorse the constitutional changes, which also establish the rules for conducting referendums on issues of public interest.

    Under the changes, the recall vote would be organized by the national electoral institute, provided it had the support of at least 3% of voters on the Mexican electoral register.

To become law, the measures must still be approved by a majority of state legislatures. The president’s ruling party controls a majority of Mexico’s state congresses.

Reporting by Noe Torres; Editing by Peter Cooney

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