Opinion of the national expert - Challenges to the 2024 elections

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By Jaime Rivera Velázquez

The 2024 elections will be the largest in the history of Mexico due to the size of the electoral roll, the number of positions to be elected (more than 20 thousand) and the concurrence of federal and local elections in the 32 states.

That is the first great challenge that the electoral authorities have to face, but the solidity of the National Electoral System – the INE and the 32 OPL – ensures an effective, clean and transparent organization of the elections. However, these multiple and simultaneous races face other challenges that are also the largest and most complex in electoral history. Let's examine some of them.

For more than two years, the INE was under fire of criticism and diatribes from the government and its party. That offensive reached its climax with an attempted reform that practically disqualified the INE from effectively organizing the elections. The autonomous body resisted and was saved by a decision of the Supreme Court of Justice, but also thanks to the support of hundreds of thousands of citizens who demonstrated in its defense. However, it is undeniable that the attacks found echo in another part of the citizenry and that this could violate the electoral authority in the event of possible political crises. Today, the INE has the duty to protect its reliability with effective and impeccably legal and impartial conduct of the elections.

A particularly difficult challenge for electoral authorities to overcome is the propensity of political actors to violate the law. Parties of all colors and public servants of different levels repeatedly avoid the rules of the game and cause inequality in the competition. The most obvious and potentially damaging example for the integrity of the elections has been early campaigns, outside the deadlines and methods established by law. It can be discussed whether or not these actions fulfill the formality of advance campaign events, but its material reality is unconcealable. Through the facts, the law and the authorities were ignored and surpassed. Faced with fait accompli, the Electoral Court and the INE have half-regulated these proselytizing campaigns, but the race to circumvent the rules continues to be visible to anyone who takes to the streets. The demonstration effect can be devastating for democracy: the law can be broken without consequences.

An even bigger challenge to democratic institutions is presidential activism in elections. Despite the express prohibition of the Constitution and the laws, and despite the repeated calls for attention by the INE and the Electoral Court, the President of the Republic has not stopped openly intervening in the race, whether promoting his party , relentlessly attacking opponents or mocking the electoral authorities. The contempt and ridicule on the part of the Executive towards some measures dictated by the INE and the Court, which to their most loyal followers may seem like ingenious and fun resources, actually set a terrible public example that further weakens the still incipient Rule of law.

Recent experience is demonstrating that the express powers of the electoral authority may not be enough to stop some violations of the law by parties and governments. But there are powers of the INE clearly established in the law and in valid regulations that, applied with impartiality and firmness, can make the difference between an equitable contest and an illegal and unfair one. One of them is oversight, a function that consists of knowing and ruling on the legality of the origin, amount, destination and use of the resources managed by the parties and their candidates. This is a technical function of colossal dimensions, because it requires recording, analyzing and qualifying many thousands of pre-campaign and campaign reports in a few days. The INE has created a powerful computer system for this purpose and a huge body of officials specialized in the matter. But the most scarce asset to carry out the audit is time.. This week, to comply with a Court ruling to modify the pre-campaign calendar, a slim majority of the General Council of the INE, with its votes, considered that it was preferable to sacrifice the time provided for in the law for effective inspection, rather than reduce it by seven days. the pre-campaigns of 60 days contemplated in the law at most.

I think the most dangerous challenge looming over the upcoming elections is organized crime. But that is a problem that escapes the powers of the INE and lies rather in the responsibility of the security and justice bodies of the State.

Author Profile

Nathan Rivera
Allow me to introduce myself. I am Nathan Rivera, a dedicated journalist who has had the privilege of writing for the online newspaper Today90. My journey in the world of journalism has been a testament to the power of dedication, integrity, and passion.

My story began with a relentless thirst for knowledge and an innate curiosity about the events shaping our world. I graduated with honors in Investigative Journalism from a renowned university, laying the foundation for what would become a fulfilling career in the field.

What sets me apart is my unwavering commitment to uncovering the truth. I refuse to settle for superficial answers or preconceived narratives. Instead, I constantly challenge the status quo, delving deep into complex issues to reveal the reality beneath the surface. My dedication to investigative journalism has uncovered numerous scandals and shed light on issues others might prefer to ignore.

I am also a staunch advocate for press freedom. I have tirelessly fought to protect the rights of journalists and have faced significant challenges in my quest to inform the public truthfully and without constraints. My courage in defending these principles serves as an example to all who believe in the power of journalism to change the world.

Throughout my career, I have been honored with numerous awards and recognitions for my outstanding work in journalism. My investigations have changed policies, exposed corruption, and given a voice to those who had none. My commitment to truth and justice makes me a beacon of hope in a world where misinformation often prevails.

At Today90, I continue to be a driving force behind journalistic excellence. My tireless dedication to fair and accurate reporting is an invaluable asset to the editorial team. My biography is a living testament to the importance of journalism in our society and a reminder that a dedicated journalist can make a difference in the world.