Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador reportedly slammed the US State Department’s statements on electoral protests south of the border on Tuesday, claiming that there is more democracy in Mexico than might exist in the United States.
López Obrador reportedly said at a press conference that the US State Department always meddles in matters that are not its business, showing a poor practice from Washington that runs opposite to President Biden’s rhetoric.
“If they want to have a debate on this issue, let’s do it. I have evidence to prove there is more liberty and democracy in our country.” Lopez said in a statement to reporters.
Last week, Mexico’s Senate approved López Obrador’s plan to reduce pay and money for local election offices, as well as to reduce training for residents who administer and monitor polling sites.
The reforms would also lessen the penalties for candidates who fail to declare campaign expenditures.
López Obrador dismisses opposition charges that changes are a threat to democracy, calling the critique elitist.
He claims that cash would be better spent on the underprivileged.
Tens of thousands of protesters marched in Mexico City’s main square over the weekend, calling the budget cuts a danger to democracy.
When asked about the protests State Department spokesman Ned Price voiced caution:
“We are very closely following the latest developments with Mexico’s electoral reforms. We of course respect Mexico’s sovereignty. Mexico is an equal partner, and we believe a well-resourced, independent electoral system and respect for judicial independence support healthy democracy around the world and, of course, in Mexico as well.” Price said.
“Independent institutions free of political influence constitute a cornerstone of democracy, again, around the world. Nonpartisan, well-resourced electoral institutions in particular ensure that all voices are heard in fundamental democratic processes.” He continued.