The president clarified that the results will not be binding.
The president of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, announced this Tuesday that on January 22 a “social participation exercise” will be carried out at the national level, so that citizens can give their opinion on the role that the National Guard and the Armed Forces must play. Armed.
At a press conference, the president clarified that it cannot be formally called a “popular consultation”, since this category has certain legal frameworks that will not be covered on this occasion. He also specified that the results will not be binding, that is, they should not be complied with.
The questions that Mexicans must answer are: 1) Do you agree with the creation of the National Guard and with its performance so far?; 2) Do you consider that the Armed Forces, the Army and the Navy they should keep doing public safety work until 2028 or that they return to their barracks in March 2024?; 3) What is your opinion that the National Guard becomes part of the Ministry of National Defense or the Ministry of the Interior or the Ministry of Public Security?
“What matters to us is that progress is made in participatory democracy because democracy means the power of the people, it is a way of life,” he said, explaining that the intention is to collect the feelings of the people around one of the most controversial aspects of his Government and that is the creation of the National Guard and its adherence to the Secretary of Defense.
“The town does not exist? Is it a stone guest? Are they imaginary citizens? Here those of us who know about politics and decide are those of the elite of economic and political power? No, not at all: democracy is everyone’s business,” he warned.
Lopez Obrador had already anticipated that he will not request the intervention of the National Electoral Institute (INE, with which he is at odds to such a degree that he has even requested its disappearance) because surely the body would request the extraordinary allocation of millionaire resources, as has already happened this year with the consultation for the revocation of the mandate.
📢🚦 #find out|| This is the proposal of the president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on the consultation to know the opinion of the people of Mexico for the participation of the armed forces in public security tasks.🤔 What do you think? Are you for or against pic.twitter.com/1BRkM1VhgV
– Icon Veracruz Magazine (@IconoVeracruz) September 27, 2022
This unprecedented exercise was announced after Lopez Obrador proposed to Congress a controversial reform to allow the Army to carry out security tasks until 2028, since, otherwise, these tasks will come to an end in 2024.
Last week, the ruling party in the Senate suspended the discussion because it did not have the necessary majority to approve an initiative, which is resisted by human rights organizations and other sectors that denounce and reject the militarization of the country promoted by the president.
“It is an irrational act of political disturbance, of politicking, not understanding that we need the support of the Armed Forces to give security guarantees to the peoplestrengthen the National Guard, and that the most important thing is public safety, that’s why the consultation”, he insisted this Tuesday before giving the floor to the Secretary of the Interior, Adan Augusto Lopez.
The official explained that the objective for January 22 is to install a “public opinion receiving point” (equivalent to a voting center) in each of the 68,980 electoral sections into which the country is divided.
These are the questions of the National Exercise of Social Participation to know the opinion of the population in public security. It will be carried out throughout the country and it will be an exercise organized by the people hand in hand with the @SEGOB_mx. pic.twitter.com/5erFc5tejf
– Adam Augusto Lopez H (@adan_augusto) September 27, 2022
“The organization will be in charge of the Ministry of the Interior and an honorary citizen committee which will determine the mechanisms for the implementation of actions at the national level. It will be replicated at the state level and the people will be invited to join this participatory exercise both for promotion and to become recipients of popular opinion,” he said.
The event will take place from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 22, 2023 and all Mexicans who show their Unique Population Registry Code or any official identification with a photograph can participate. The authorities will guarantee the secrecy of their opinions.
The volunteers at the voting booths will compute the results, send them to the Secretaries of the Interior of each state, and these, in turn, to the National Secretary of the Interior, who will carry out the final accounting together with the citizen committee that will participate in the organization. The final results will be announced on January 24.
In addition to the physical centers, the authorities will create a portal where people can vote virtually, including Mexicans residing abroad, and which will be available from January 12 to 22.
According to the schedule presented by the Secretary of the Interior, on October 4 there will be a meeting with the 31 governors and the head of government of Mexico City, and two days later, with the municipal presidents of the entire country. Campaigns to publicize the exercise will begin on October 10.