Late last month, Mexico’s opposition insisted on electoral reforms before it would support the ruling party’s efforts at energy reform. In an email interview, John Ackerman, a professor at the Institute of Legal Research of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), explained the need for and obstacles to electoral reform in Mexico.
WPR: What did the conduct of Mexico's most recent elections indicate about the need for the electoral reform?
John Ackerman: The last two presidential elections, in 2006 and 2012, demonstrated that Mexico is far from establishing a trustworthy institutional democracy. During both elections, there were widespread accusations of fraud, and the electoral authorities behaved in a partial manner by covering up irregularities. In 2006, authorities turned a blind eye to gross violations of the electoral code, refused to conduct a full recount and even denied citizen access to the ballots after the election. In 2012, extreme cases of media bias, vote-buying and overspending by the winning candidate went almost without notice by the authorities.