Mexican President Proposes Election System Reforms

Dec. 16, 2009, midnight

Mexican President Felipe CALDERON on Tuesday called for several electoral system changes. The suggested changes include: reducing the Chamber of Deputies from 500 to 400 members, shrinking the Senate from 129 to 96 members, switching majority runoffs for Presidential elections, permitting independents to seek federal office, and repealing a one-term limit for members of Congress, which has been in place since 1933. Journalists have noted that CALDERON did not seek repeal of Presidential term limits, which some other Latin American countries and have done in recent years. According to opposition politicians from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), CALDERON's reform package fails to clarify Presidential succession procedures. Passing the package requires a qualified majority in Congress and the consent of a majority of Mexican state legislatures.

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