Huge crowds march in Mexico over electoral reform
Huge rallies have been held in several Mexican cities against what protesters say are government attempts to undermine the electoral authorities.
The biggest was in Mexico City, where organisers say 500,000 people marched on the city’s main plaza.
Lawmakers last week voted to slash the budget of the National Electoral Institute (Ine) and cut its staffing.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador accuses the Ine of being partisan.
But opponents describe the recent vote as an attack on democracy itself, pressing the Supreme Court to overturn them as unconstitutional.
On Sunday, massive crowds gathered in Mexico City’s historic Zocalo Square. The demonstrators spilt out into adjoining streets in the city centre.
Smaller peaceful demonstrations were staged in several other cities.
Mexico’s Senate approved the reforms on Wednesday, following a similar vote in the lower chamber of parliament. The reforms will come into force once they are signed by President López Obrador.
Obrador, who was elected in July 2018 after two previous failed attempts, has long been critical of the Ine, whose staff oversee elections.
Since his win in 2018, Obrador has been pushing for a reform of the Ine, which he says will save taxpayers $150m (£125m) a year by drastically reducing the agency’s staff.
Last month, he accused the independent body of cheating, and said its staff turned a blind eye to “the stuffing of ballot boxes, falsification of [election] records and vote buying”.—BBC