Tuesday, the president of Mexico said that his nation was more democratic than the US.
The testy remarks from President Andrés Manuel López Obrador came after U.S. officials noticed the raging controversy in Mexico over López Obrador’s newly adopted election reforms, which detractors claim could damage Mexico’s democracy.
Savings from the revisions would be made to the nation’s election authority.
Regardless of U.S. comments, López Obrador strongly rejected them. The cautious statement “We respect Mexico’s sovereignty” was made by State Department spokesperson Ned Price on Monday.
More democracy exists in Mexico than is possible in the United States, the Mexican president retorted.
López Obrador angrily remarked, “Let’s debate this matter if they want to.” “I have proof that our nation enjoys greater liberty and democracy.”
The Mexican president is infamously sensitive to criticism from the media, Mexican regulatory or oversight bodies, non-governmental organizations, human rights organizations, or the press.
“Today in Mexico, we see a wonderful debate on electoral reforms on the independence of electoral and judicial institutions that demonstrates Mexico’s dynamic democracy,” Price said in a statement.
“We respect the sovereignty of Mexico. We think that respect for judicial independence and a well-resourced, independent electoral system foster a strong democracy.
Plans by López Obrador to reduce budget and staffing levels for local election offices and the amount of training provided to individuals who run and supervise polling places are at the heart of the conflict and were approved last week by Mexico’s Senate.
The modifications would also lessen the penalties for candidates who do not disclose their campaign expenditures.
López Obrador argues criticism of the measures is elitist and disputes that they threaten democracy.
He makes the case that the impoverished would benefit more from the money.
Over the weekend, tens of thousands protested in Mexico City’s central plaza, branding the budget cuts a threat to democracy.