WASHINGTON – Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) today released the below statement in reaction to Mexican lawmakers’ approval of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s proposal to cut funding and strip authorities from the National Electoral Institute (INE), the agency responsible for overseeing country’s elections:
“By approving President López Obrador’s proposal to slash the National Electoral Institute’s funding and oversight capabilities, the Mexican Congress has imperiled the future of its country’s democratic institutions. Returning Mexico to its dark past of presidentially controlled elections not only sets the clock back on its democracy, but also U.S.-Mexico relations.
“As Chairs of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee, we reject President López Obrador’s repeated attempts to sabotage Mexico’s democratic institutions. The people of Mexico deserve an independent electoral authority capable of conducting free and fair elections and to be governed by leaders who respect the rule of law. In spite of his hope to be remembered as a democrat and champion for the country’s most vulnerable, President López Obrador’s ongoing efforts to undermine INE’s autonomy and independence will assuredly cement his legacy as just the opposite.”