Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador signed a vow on Tuesday to never seek a second term amidst critics’ worries that a new law allowing a mid-term recall referendum could be a mechanism for a re-election bid.
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"I’ve already said many times, out of conviction, I am against re-election. I’m a supporter of effective suffrage and not re-election, but I am going to put it in writing with my signature, making a public commitment," Lopez Obrador said Monday in a press conference where he was expected to sign the letter.
However, it was on Tuesday morning that the Mexican head of state went ahead and signed the document in which he promises to step down as president when his term ends in 2024 and retire to his ranch in southern Mexico. A move that comes as a response to his critics and opponents who argue that the new revocation of mandate law is just a way to obtain re-election.
The Constitutional reform was passed on March 14 by the Chamber of Deputies - the lower house of Congress - 328 votes in favor, 153 against and with two abstentions. Yet still must be approved by the Senate.
The mid-term recall is intended to give Mexicans the choice to dismiss an elected official, even the president, half-way down their term, which for AMLO would come in 2021. The approved legislation was one of the most important promises of the President’s campaign followed by the slogan, "If the people place us there, the people take us away.”
According to the Mexican constitution, the president is limited to a single six-year term, and the principle of no re-election has been at the heart of Mexican politics since Francisco Madero campaigned in 1909 against president Porfirio Diaz, who held on to power for three decades.