What irked Mexican society at large at the end of April was not so much that Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) Senate leader Emilio Gamboa said that if approved, the National Anti-Corruption System would be a political “witch hunt.” What created angst was that if not approved, “no pasa nada” or nothing would happen … and the bill would be shelved.
Over the next two weeks Senator Gamboa has heard a pretty word both from friends and foes, because his old PRI style of discourse is an ugly leftover from when PRI was the one totalitarian political party system.
Postponing for “later” the passing of the Anti-Corruption bill was definitely not well seen, and it became obvious on Wednesday when the Senate political party leaders met to announce that there will be an “extraordinary session” for four days from June 13 to 17 to discuss and finally approve the seven different chapters the bill’s regulatory framework is made of.
Gamboa took the occasion to apologize for not having it ready for May 2015 and agreed upon a deadline to deliver it finished and ready to the Chamber of Deputies by next May 28.
Senator Gamboa’s breach of constitutional compromise in delivering the National Anti-Corruption System bill was considered by many an act of cynicism typical of old time PRI for saying that at the end of April if not delivered, “no pasa nada.”
There were many interpretations to the “no pasa nada” statement. The most obvious were “to avoid contamination” of the partial June 5 elections and that indeed Gamboa felt that the bill might be retroactive (it will not) and his questionable fortune based in his father’s union (CTM) fees might be affected.
And there was even a joke claiming Gamboa was unfit to run a pizzeria because “he can’t deliver in 30 minutes.”
Even after apologizing last Wednesday, Gamboa was non-compliant, with a time limit set in agreement by both houses of Congress. Voters are closely watching and expecting a final applicable result to end corruption in Mexico, if that is feasible.
Gamboa blamed the different committees in charge of drafting each of the seven chapters of the law, now including the “Three Out of Three” initiative presented by non-government organizations. But long before the PRI Senate leader, backed by the Green Party (PVEM), announced his non-compliance with the deadline, it was clear that way deep down these two parties do not want an official and non-partisan watchdog looking over their private business with public money.
Yet the social response to the arbitrary postponement of fixing up the draft of the law is still awesome and deafening. Gamboa’s move has been seen within the PRI ranks as a calculation error and proof of the pudding is that the PRI leader at the Chamber of Deputies, César Camacho Quiroz, had to come to aid him and perhaps mend some of the broken dishes, principally of the leader of the Senate.
It was a gross mistake to postpone the delivery of the bill, because there was a deadline. And worse still, the old-style trickery and treachery of PRI politicians became, once again, only too evident. In short, if the move was to help PRI candidates in the upcoming elections, the move is backfiring as opposition parties are using the breach of compromises as the main virtues of the old political PRI machinery.
Forcing the postponement of the National Anti-Corruption System bill is proving to be a big calculation mistake, because it only comes to prove that PRI and Green Party politicos will not comply with their campaign promises.
Not only that, but they breached the word of the entire Congress to bring a law that the people are demanding in order to bring an end to official corruption.
After the postponement, people will surely be watching the progress of the National Anti-Corruption Bill approval with a grain of salt and tons of mistrust, fearing that the “no pasa nada” mentality might prevail.