West News Wire: Andres Manuel López Obrador, the president of Mexico, has rebuked a statement from Washington that appeared to criticize an electoral reform law in his nation, accusing America of interfering in its neighbor’s affairs.
On Tuesday, Lopez Obrador claimed that the US consistently meddles “in issues that don’t interest” it.
Washington stated that it supports “autonomous, well-resourced electoral institutions that improve democratic processes and the rule of law” without specifically criticizing the proposal.
The US remarks irked Lopez Obrador, who had defended the electoral reform law as a push to cut costs for taxpayers. After narrowly losing his first presidential bid in 2006, Lopez Obrador made allegations of voting fraud, and he has been critical of Mexico’s electoral agency since then.
“There’s currently more democracy in Mexico than in the United States,” he said on Tuesday.
Mexican presidents are constitutionally limited to one six-year term in office, so Lopez Obrador will not seek reelection in next year’s presidential vote, though his left-wing Morena party is considered among the front-runners.
The US State Department had also stressed on Monday the importance of “respect for judicial independence” in a “healthy democracy”. Lopez Obrador has previously criticised Mexico’s judiciary, driving accusations by opposition members that he is threatening the country’s court system.
“Today, in Mexico, we see a great debate on electoral reforms on the independence of electoral and judicial institutions that illustrates Mexico’s vibrant democracy,” the State Department said on Monday. “We respect Mexico’s sovereignty.”
Later in the day, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the US views Mexico as an “equal partner”, adding that Secretary of State Antony Blinken is “very focused on the erosion of democracy around the world”.
The Mexican president said on Tuesday that, instead of commenting on Mexico, Washington should “deal with what’s happening in Peru”.
He denounced what he called US support for “the coup plotters who trampled on freedoms and democracy in that country”.
Lopez Obrador has been a vocal supporter of Peru’s former left-wing President Pedro Castillo, who was removed from office by legislators late last year and replaced by his then-vice president, Dina Boluarte, after he attempted to dissolve Congress.