A huge crowd of protesters descended on Mexico City’s main plaza on Sunday amid controversial electoral law reforms that critics say will threaten democracy.
Sporting the white and pink of Mexico’s National Electoral Institute, the country’s elections agency, demonstrators at Zocalo square urged the government not to “touch their vote”, after controversial electoral reform proposals by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador were passed last week.
Organisers say 500,000 people marched on the city’s main plaza, whereas the local government put the number at 90,000.
If signed into law, the proposals would cut salaries, funding for local election offices, and training for those who operate and oversee polling stations.
The head of the National Electoral Institute, Lorenzo Cordova, has said the reforms “seek to cut thousands of people who work every day to guarantee trustworthy elections, something that will, of course, pose a risk for future elections.”
But López Obrador has rejected the criticism as elitist and says the institute spends too much money and that more funds should be spent on the poor.
Mexico’s president added that he expects court challenges, but that his proposals would be upheld because none of it was “outside the law.”
Many at Sunday’s protest expressed hope that Mexico’s Supreme Court would overturn parts of the reform, as courts have done with other presidential initiatives.
López Obrador has frequently attacked Mexico’s judiciary and claimed judges are part of a conservative conspiracy against his administration.