Mexico's Lopez Obrador to hold new public consultation on policy platform

FILE PHOTO: President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador talks about his security plan to the media, before he takes office as Mexican President on the December 1, in Mexico City, Mexico November 14, 2018. Picture taken November 14, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Romero

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico’s incoming government will hold a national public consultation on Nov. 24-25 for residents to voice their opinion on 10 key policy proposals ranging from a new rail line and oil refinery to reforestation and free public internet initiatives.

The new consultation comes on the heels of another informal referendum that called for canceling the construction of a partially-built $13 billion new airport for Mexico City.

President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador used the results of that consultation to say his administration, which takes office on Dec. 1, would halt the airport project. That decision left investors fretting over how he would manage the economy, with the peso currency and stock market reeling.

It was unclear whether the results of the new consultation would be binding.

The incoming administration will set up 1,102 polling stations across the nation where residents will be asked to fill out a form and answer “yes” or “no” on the 10 policy points.

They include whether to guarantee access to healthcare to residents that currently lack those services, offer training and scholarships to 2.6 million youth, and double pensions for citizens over 68 years old.

Residents will vote on the construction of the so-called “Mayan Train”, a rail line that will run 1,500 kilometers and connect five southern Mexican states.

Another point on the consultation is the construction of a $2.5 billion refinery in Tabasco state, which the incoming government has said will boost gasoline production and help cut growing fuel imports.

Reporting by Ana Isabel Martinez; Writing by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Himani Sarkar