Mexican president plans mining bill on Monday if power reform thwarted

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Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador delivers his quarterly report on his government's programs, at the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico April 12, 2022. REUTERS/Henry Romero

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MEXICO CITY, April 12 (Reuters) - Mexico's president said on Tuesday he will send a bill to Congress on Monday to secure lithium for the nation if lawmakers fail to pass his constitutional overhaul tightening state control of the electricity market a day earlier.

In a speech marking 100 days into his fourth year in office, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he expected Congress to vote on Sunday on his electricity legislation, which contains a provision to nationalize Mexico's lithium resources.

He doubled down on pressure for lawmakers to approve the electricity law, describing its detractors as conservatives more interested in protecting businesses than consumers. read more

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"Soon, very soon, we will know who is who ... I think we will know on Sunday," he said.

After several postponed debates on the reform, Lopez Obrador's remarks suggested he would not allow further delays.

The opposition has said it will not support the legislation, meaning the government is at serious risk of falling short of the two-thirds majority required for constitutional changes.

"We've already protected ourselves, in case there's treason," Lopez Obrador said of Sunday's scheduled vote, arguing that a Supreme Court ruling last week would at least guarantee an earlier electricity bill he had championed.

"If we don't get two-thirds of the vote ... I will immediately, the next day, this Monday, send an initiative to Congress to modify the mining law." read more

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Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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