Up to 500,000 Mexicans were out on the streets Sunday in 15 cities to protest far-left President López Obrador’s plan to eliminate the National Electoral Institute (INE) and state-based electoral authorities and possibly such safeguards as Voter ID.
Protests were held in Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara, Morelia, Querétaro, Culiacán and Cancún, Mexico New Daily reports.
According to a poll in Reforma newspaper, Mexicans are afraid that President López Obrador and his leftist Morena party want to dismantle the National Electoral Institute INE in order to “appropriate the new institute to control elections.”
In a video message posted to social media after Sunday’s protests, INE president Lorenzo Córdova noted that hundreds of thousands of people came out to defend “our democracy and our electoral system in the face of the risk of an anti-democratic regression.” Córdova said that “we can’t allow” the electoral authority to lose its constitutional autonomy “if we don’t want to return to the authoritarian past that we fortunately left behind.”
More than half a million people have also signed a Change.org petition that denounces the proposed disbandment of the INE.
Former president Vicente Fox, who joined the Mexico City protest, highlighted on his Twitter account that López Obrador pledged in 2020 that he would quit if 100,000 people protested against him.