The approval of reforms to the General Law of Electoral Institutions and Procedures (Legipe); General of Political Parties (LGPP) and Organic of the Judicial Power of the Federation (LOPJF), which await the approval of the Senate, as well as the new General Law of Appeals, will be the cause of high litigation, once they are published in the Official Gazette of the Federation (DOF).
According to the former counselor of the National Electoral Institute (INE), Marco Baños Martínez, unconstitutionality actions before the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) can be filed within a period of no more than 30 days, counted from its publication. in DOF.
In addition, society can go to that instance, but by way of amicus curiae, which is when technicians in electoral or legal matters can write arguments and send them to the ministers so that they are taken into account in their reasoning.
For his part, the political analyst, José Antonio Crespo, said that given the way in which these reforms were carried out, the Court will have to intervene, so that during 2023 there will be a high level of litigation derived from this legislative process.
In this sense, Baños Martínez said that it will be necessary to see how the legal path that is going to start in various ways will be, because before the modifications to the secondary laws, the unconstitutionality actions that have been announced by the parliamentary opposition groups in Congress ensue, in addition that the president of the INE, Lorenzo Córdova, has said that he is starting a battle in this way.
In accordance with Article 105 of the Constitution, federal and local electoral laws must be promulgated and published at least ninety days before the beginning of the electoral process in which they are to be applied, and during the same there may be no fundamental legal modifications.
This means that for changes to the electoral legal framework to apply in the 2024 presidential election, they can be promulgated no later than May 31, 2023, since the 2023-2024 electoral process begins on September 1, 2023.
In the case of the electoral processes to renew the governorships of State of Mexico and Coahuila it begins on January 1, 2023 and election day will be on June 4.
The former counselor explained that if the Court grants the provisional suspension of the entry into force of the legislation and then resolves (after May 31) that those who promote them are right, it would have to say that the reforms are not applicable by 2024.
He recalled that just to carry out the personnel cuts proposed in the reform package, the INE would have very little time, since this implies a major reengineering of its processes, to be able to remove the work with the workforce that will remain.
In addition, it drew attention to the fact that the new laws impose deadlines on the INE to readjust all internal regulations with the new legal provisions.
As an example, he mentioned that the Election Regulations have more than 400 articles; that of Inspection a similar amount; without counting that of Radio and Television or the Statute of the Electoral Professional Service, which regulates labor relations between the INE and its staff.
For his part, the president of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Deputies, Santiago Creel Miranda, commented that the unconstitutionality action that will be presented by opposition deputies will be supported by the jurisprudence of the SCJN 35/2007, 37/2009 and 153/2007, in which it is established that a democratic and deliberative debate of the deputies is required when changes are made to laws, so that they have prior knowledge of what is going to be voted on.
Around 5,000 workers could promote labor lawsuits
On the other hand, he explained that INE employees who are affected by the reforms, upon losing their jobs, will have the option of filing a labor lawsuit before the Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judiciary (TEPJF)which for this specific case can be known, in addition to resorting to amparo proceedings, as long as the act claimed does not focus on the labor aspect.
He stressed that with the compaction of areas from the district electoral boards to the central area of the INE, the suppression of technical units and the cancellation of positions, what is going to happen is the disappearance of 84% of the professionalized apparatus of the INE who are career civil service personnel who began to be built in 1993 and who today are part of the most important operational arms of the National Institute
In total, it is estimated that the suppression of positions will leave around 5,000 people without work, because, in addition to the Civil Service Career personnel, it includes administrative personnel.
Constitutional controversy and protections
The president of the INE, Lorenzo Córdova, stated that this institution is likely to present a Constitutional Controversy because the Chamber of Deputies put into law how the budget for 2023 should be spent, which is not its responsibility.
“The Chamber can define how much is the budget that is assigned to a state body, an autonomous constitutional body, as long as even decreasing it, if it does what the Chamber has not been doing, a reinforced justification, but it cannot tell the INE What are you going to stop spending on?
He also said that if legislative interference prevails in the attribution of the General Council, in its power to designate who occupies the Executive Secretariat of the institute (as established in article 41 of the Constitution), surely the secretary himself will be able to present amparo, lawsuits for the protection of political-electoral rights. “And any institute staff, any institute official who feels aggrieved in their constitutional rights by a law that eventually violates them can do it.”
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