SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Following Mexico’s 2013 constitutional reforms on politics, telecommunications, tax and energy, the next step is to enact regulations containing the corresponding structural changes necessitated by such reforms.
In accordance with the principal that if one can do a greater thing (reforming the Constitution), the lesser can certainly be done (enacting the regulations), it was believed that the regulations would move forward without a problem. This is because, despite a few setbacks, the Pact for Mexico has shown the ability of the Mexican Congress to reach agreements in order to make progress on issues that had been stationary for the past decades.
Nevertheless, not everything has been easy with the implementation of the Pact for Mexico. Some notable examples of progress include the Government’s recovery of the leadership position in education, addressing the monopoly problem in the telecommunications and broadcasting industry, increasing tax collections and opening the possibility for private investors to participate in the use and exploitation of energy resources.
For Mexico’s political parties, the political reform has become the main concern. Such is evident with the delay in legislating on telecommunications and energy matters and the much criticized transformation of the Federal Electoral Institute (Instituto Federal Electoral, IFE) into the National Electoral Institute (Instituto Nacional Electoral, INE).
The establishment of the INE and the new regulations on political jurisdiction theoretically aim to establish uniform voting regulations throughout the country and to avoid disparities.
Nevertheless, after much negotiation, it is evident that the new electoral institution is influenced by partisan ideals and has lost its sense of serving as a civic electoral body. During the upcoming special sessions of Congress, the pending secondary regulations will be discussed, specifically those on politics and energy.
In this environment, it is foreseeable that the two major opposition parties, the Political Action Party (PAN) and the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), will attempt to obtain advantages. It is likely that the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) will seek an alliance with the PAN on energy and with the PRD on matters such as the pending political reform. The negotiating skills of Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration will be put to the test.
Dr. Mario Melgar-Adalid is a member of Mexico’s National System of Researchers (SNI). He is a Law researcher at UNAM’s Institute of Juridical Research and currently an Of Counsel at Cacheaux, Cavazos & Newton, L.L.P. in San Antonio. He writes a regular column for CCN’s monthly Mexico Report, which also appears in the Guardian. To view all previous versions of the CCN Mexico Report, go to: http://www.ccn-law.com/