After the Congress of Mexico City, with the argument of austerity, reduced and merged commissions to the Electoral Institute of the capital, the General Council of the National Electoral Institute (INE) approved the Regulations on the Structure of Local Public Bodies (Oples).
The agreement was approved by eight votes in favor and three against by councilors Carla Humphrey, Uuc-kib Espadas and Norma de la Cruz, who argued that it is a rule that invades the autonomy of local electoral institutes.
Counselor Ciro Murayama said that in the political environment there is currently a problem of continuity of the Oples (in reference to the electoral reform initiative of the federal government). However, he asserted, that will not be stopped from the INE, “that happens through a reform to the Constitution, but let’s distance ourselves from it.”
He indicated that the INE does not modify, does not legislate nor is it invading the Oples, rather it is a rule “for due coordination with the INE in the preparation and development of local electoral processes in the exercise of the electoral function, without prejudice to what established in the applicable legislation, they must have technical personnel and a minimum occupation structure of addresses or executive areas”.
He explained that if the local legislation does not have provisions about what the minimum structure of the Oples is, or if it contemplates a larger structure, that is what the regulations approved by the INE are for. He indicated that the minimum floor of the Oples is to have electoral management areas; civic education, electoral training; contentious electoral law, administration; information technology, prerogatives and political parties, as well as gender equality.
“Here we are not invading, we are thinking that the elections have to be well done,” he said.
The President of the INE, Lorenzo Córdova, stressed that “we do not want the elections to be organized by improvised personnel without technical criteria, because in this way it is guaranteed that they do not obey authorities, governments or parties.”
The counselor Dania Paola Ravel said that the regulation means a minimum floor in the occupation of places in local public bodies,
“We are not determining the creation of new areas or a certain number of directions or areas that must have, only that they have specialized personnel to be able to carry out activities related to electoral processes,” he said.
Ravel said that it could be said that the INE it goes too far in regulating the number of technical units and executive management in the Oples, which is inaccurate because the only thing that is required is that they have a minimum of specialized personnel. He denied that the INE claims to be the head of the Oples: “this is incorrect because the national electoral system establishes a floor for collaboration with respect to autonomy.” Besides, he said, the Oples can regulate their own areas.
Euríspides Flores, representative of Morena, accused that the INE wants to legislate on the matter and thus violate the autonomy of the states. “They seek to diminish and ignore the autonomy of other bodies,” he said.
Counselor Carla Humphrey considered that “it is not viable for this General Council to assume powers that are not expressly established based on a secondary rule. In my opinion, this reform violates the principle of legal reform and hierarchical subordination”.
In the same sense, the councilor Uuc-kib Espadas said he was aware that there is an intention of the federal government against electoral bodies, but he said, “it is not up to the INE, through a regulatory decision, to stop this authoritarian onslaught.”
Counselor José Roberto Ruiz Saldaña mentioned that it is clear “that a minimum structure is required (in the Oples), for me the legal or constitutional problem would be if it did not have rationality, it was minimally disproportionate or exaggerated in its breadth. It seems to me that the structure that we are indicating is fully justifiable, and I believe that we are doing the right thing to guarantee the adequate coordination”.
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