Mexican lawmakers set referendum on ex-presidents for next August

by Reuters
Friday, 23 October 2020 00:15 GMT

MEXICO CITY, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Mexico's lower house of Congress on Thursday approved President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's proposal to hold a public vote on whether to try former presidents for corruption, setting the date for August 2021, two months after the mid-term elections.

While Lopez Obrador has said he does not favor bringing former presidents to trial, he has repeatedly called for the public to decide on the issue.

Ahead of the mid-term elections in June 2021, he has focused his public messages on the alleged corruption by past administrations, and had hoped the referendum would take place at the same time voters go to the polls.

The proposal passed in the lower house with 272 votes in its favor and 116 against. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court had upheld the referendum as constitutional in a 6-5 decision.

The debate about bringing charges against leaders, including Lopez Obrador's predecessor Enrique Pena Nieto, intensified in August after testimony from a senior politician outlined high-level bribery and vote buying in Congress in the last administration. (Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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