Mexico: The Mandate Recall, a Step Towards True Democracy
It is official. On Sunday, April 10, the recall referendum will take place for the first time in the history of Mexico. It will give people the right and power to decide whether they want the current President to continue or to say adios.
Continue or say adios
However, for a presidential figure to be removed it will require that 40% of the voters support the referendum or revocación de mandato, in Spanish. In this way, it will be possible to put a stop to the abuse, fraud, or corruption that may occur during any presidential administration.
Considering the looting to which the nation has been subjected for at least four decades, the inequality and poverty generated by unimaginable levels of corruption, the recall becomes a golden opportunity for Mexicans, a chance to raise their voice and be heard.
The recall is also a historic occasion because it is the first time that, with the power of the vote, Mexicans will be able to decide on the future of the country in the middle of a six-year term, and not have to wait the full six years to be able to change the path of the nation.
This recall will also serve as a regulator for future administrations that arrive at the Mexican National Palace. The presidents will know that they will have to serve the people with their best interest in mind; otherwise, in three years their dismissal could be imminent.
A recall election has just taken place on September 14, 2021, in California. Through an election, residents decided that Governor Gavin Newsom, who had come to power in 2018, could remain in office. This forced the official to stick to his campaign promises and to try to work with all sectors of society and not just for interest groups.
Exercising the vote and participating on April 10 in the elections to confirm or remove the current president will be a vital democratic exercise so that from now on, citizens get used to and are convinced that true democracy, among other things, is participatory and not just vote every six years as they are accustomed.
If we do not participate, we will be sending the wrong message to the political parties that come to power. We will be telling them, as happened in the past: that we do not care about what they do in office, giving them the green light to do what they please; and as we already know, allows for more corruption and inequality, just as we have experienced in the past, despite Mexico being one of the richest countries in culture, beaches and natural resources, among other sectors.
This civic exercise is a great option for the Mexican citizens because it gives them the power to confirm the good work or put an end to a bad administration.
The recall referendum will not only allow the people to have a little more control over their future, but at the same time, it is a giant step towards a true democracy.
It is not for nothing that the example of democracy in the West — the United States — maintains that option for its citizens.
The importance of the recall
The idea of holding a recall in the middle of a presidential or state administration was a campaign promise in 2018 of then-candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO). Nonetheless, he had made this promise ever since he first ran in 2006.
Just imagine if this measure had been in force for the last 15 years, surely some of the great embezzlements and tragedies committed against their population from former presidents Felipe Calderón and Enrique Peña Nieto would not have occurred, or at least not all of them, since in the middle of their six-year term the population would have had the opportunity to remove their leader.
But the would-be does not exist, and now we have the opportunity, regardless of your political party affiliation or which social class you belong to; the referendum will be a tool that can be used to force the governments, in turn, to work for the country.
The measure is a constitutional reform of the federal executive that was approved by the Mexican Congress. That means that it was accepted by a qualified majority (two-thirds in both chambers) and if any administration wanted to eliminate it, the majority of both chambers would be needed for its approval.
Agustin Duran is a Mexican immigrant living in Los Angeles since 1992. Currently, he is a Metro Editor of La Opinion newspaper and has been working in different communication outlets in Los Angeles since 1996.