September 28, 2018 / 1:04 AM / 19 days ago

Mexican lawmakers submit bill on presidential term referendums

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Lawmakers from Mexican president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s party submitted a constitutional reform bill on Thursday that would allow for a referendum to cut short the six-year presidential term, a promise he made on the campaign trail.

Mexico's president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador addresses the audience during an event ahead of the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games, in Mexico City, Mexico September 27, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Romero

“Mexican society has historically suffered from the impossibility of demanding accountability from the head of the executive branch,” said the bill.

“The essential foundation of being able to repeal the (presidential) mandate is not only that citizens have greater elements of participation in government, but also the inescapable recognition that sovereignty stems from the will of the people,” it added.

Mexico’s constitution does not mention recall referendums.

Lopez Obrador, who takes office on Dec. 1, said during the campaign that he would hold a referendum on his performance at the middle of the six-year term and would cut it short if he loses the consultation.

Constitutional reforms in Mexico require the support of two thirds of the lawmakers present at the time of the vote. Lopez Obrador’s MORENA party and his allies do not have that majority in any of the chambers of Congress.

The constitutional reform would also need to receive the support of more than half of the 32 local legislatures, represented by Mexico’s 31 states and one federal district.

Reporting by Ana Isabel Martinez; Writing by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Sandra Maler

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