March 6, 2013 / 5:37 AM / 7 years ago

Mexico's lower house passes bill to remove lawmaker immunity

Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto gestures during the Central American Integration System (SICA) summit in San Jose February 20, 2013. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico’s lower house of Congress voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to strip federal lawmakers of criminal immunity, part of a larger reform push in Latin America’s second-largest economy.

The vote was 376 in favor to 56 opposed, with five abstentions.

The bill aims to amend the country’s constitution to make federal senators and deputies subject to the country’s criminal justice system, but still protect lawmakers from being detained for the duration of their terms in office.

The proposal, which would also apply to other high-ranking federal officials, now moves to the Mexican Senate for consideration.

The bill is part of a larger reform push aimed at fostering more transparency by new President Enrique Pena Nieto of the centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, and the party’s allies in Congress.

Reporting by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Eric Walsh

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