Mexican president to put lofty reforms on agenda ahead of election

Mexican president to put lofty reforms on agenda ahead of election


President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's term ends in September

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's president will propose a package of constitutional reforms early next month, including measures to overhaul the judiciary, elections and pensions, four months before voters head to the polls.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's term ends in September. By law, Mexican presidents can only serve one six-year term.

The leftist Lopez Obrador and his allies do not have the two-thirds super majority in Congress needed to change the constitution, but analysts speculate the reforms could still shape the political debate ahead of the June vote.

Since winning a landslide election in 2018 on an anti-establishment message, Lopez Obrador has moved to centralise executive power while reorganizing government functions he considers corrupt or too costly, including the top court and electoral authorities - efforts that have at times been stymied by judges and lawmakers.

The president hopes his reform proposals can help set the stage for his successor's government, arguing on Friday that they can help "facilitate the transformation process" he launched.

Polls currently favor Claudia Sheinbaum, the former mayor of Mexico City who promises continuity with Lopez Obrador's agenda if elected president.

Lopez Obrador did not offer details on the reform package on Friday, but earlier this week said the pension reform aims to ensure workers receive the same pay when they retire as when they were working.

Eurasia Group said the pension proposal would likely cause "a massive drag on public finances" if passed.

In an interview, political analyst Antonio Ocaranza said the decision to launch the package just weeks before campaigning begins could have several objectives. These include the opportunity "to demonstrate the opposition's conservatism and to maintain control of the media agenda," he said.

Ocaranza added that the 11th-hour reform push could take some heat off Sheinbaum and help her potential presidency get off to an easier start.