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AMLO reforms will be difficult to pass: Senate leader

(Bloomberg) – Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s ambitious reform agenda, which includes three major constitutional amendments, faces a difficult road through a divided congress where different parties show little appetite for consensus, he said. Senate Majority Leader Ricardo Monreal.

“I see it complex,” said Monreal in relation to promoting the legislative priorities of the Government in the second part of López Obrador’s administration. “I am not being overly optimistic, I am cautious,” he said Tuesday in an interview with Bloomberg News.

López Obrador, known as AMLO, is seeking the approval of a series of constitutional changes, including strengthening the state-owned company and reducing the influence of private operators in the electricity market, reforming the electoral system and integrating the National Guard. in the Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA). However, in this month’s midterm elections, his ruling coalition lost the supermajority necessary to achieve such reforms, making the goal an uphill battle.

“It’s a good result with some moles or spots that need to be addressed,” Monreal said about the performance of the ruling party, Morena, in the elections. “They are calls for attention in time.”

During the June 6 vote, Morena lost ground in Congress and in Mexico City, the latter considered a key district. At the same time, he obtained 11 state governorships of the 15 that were at stake.

More austerity

The president, who was one of the few world leaders who avoided pushing for spending stimuli during the pandemic, also plans to propose an administrative reform to optimize government resources, Monreal said. Mexico closed 2020 with a small primary surplus, even though the economy suffered its biggest contraction in almost a century.

It will be “more austerity and more austerity,” Monreal, one of Mexico’s most important legislators, said of the proposal.

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The senator also hopes that the AMLO government will present a tax reform that encourages investment and helps moderate inflation without raising taxes, he said. Monreal also said it is working on an economic recovery package to help small and medium-sized businesses, including with credit costs and savings.

Banxico reform

Regarding the controversial bill that the Senate approved last year, which seeks to force the central bank to buy excess dollars in the banking system, Monreal said that the legislation has been stalled in the Chamber of Deputies. Although the problem “is not resolved,” the Senate “will do nothing” as long as the bill remains pending in the other chamber, he said.

Monreal declined to confirm whether he plans to run for president in 2024 amid mounting speculation about possible successors when AMLO’s term ends.

“I do not shy away, I am not generating false expectations either, but I am going to wait a reasonable time to participate,” he said. “I’m not distracted by any activity that precipitates or accelerates the process at this time. We’re going to wait”.

Original Note: AMLO’s Reforms Will Be Tough to Pass, Mexico Senate Leader Says

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