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Fronteras: Mexico's Midterm Elections Could Reshape The Country's Political Landscape

Mexico distributes voting materials ahead of the mid-term elections on June 6, in Mamulique
Javier Arreguin, selected as a polling station officer by the National Electoral Institute (INE), counts voting materials ahead of the mid-term elections on June 6, at it's home in Mamulique, on the outskirts of Monterrey, Mexico June 2, 2021.
Rodrigo Cervantes is KJZZ’s bureau chief in Mexico City, where he was born and raised.
Rodrigo Cervantes
Rodrigo Cervantes, KJZZ’s bureau chief in Mexico City.

A lot is at stake in Mexico’s midterm elections on June 6.

Seats for 500 members of Congress and 15 governors are up for grabs. But aside from installing new congress people, voters may, in fact, empower the current Mexican president to further weaken systems that keep a fragile power structure in place.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and his neoliberal party, MORENA, could potentially gain an absolute majority in the Mexican Congress, in addition to their relative majority in the Senate. Critics worry that a divided political opposition will be unable to mount an effective challenge against MORENA in the midterms, potentially further weakening checks and balances.

“Part of the concerns from those who are opposed to the López Obrador administration or to MORENA is that this would pretty much allow them to (make) significant changes,” explained Rodrigo Cervantes, Mexico City bureau chief with NPR member station KJZZ in Phoenix. “Changes that could impact the constitution, changes that could impact the economy, changes that could impact the entire social and political dynamics in Mexico and also the relationship with other countries.”

Under the Mexican Constitution, presidents are only limited to one six-year term. All governors, mayors and legislators were also limited to only one term, but that changed in 2014 when some legislators and mayors were allowed to seek a second consecutive term.

Re-elections in this weekend’s midterms will play a large role in determining the ruling parties in Mexico’s chambers and the future of the country’s political landscape.

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Norma Martinez can be reached at norma@tpr.org and on Twitter at @NormDog1
Lauren Terrazas can be reached at lauren@tpr.org and on Twitter at @terrazas_lauren