Only in Mexico!!!
A revolt that’s brought the Chamber of Deputies to a standstill continued Thursday evening with no solution in sight.
The bottom line issue was a Constitutional article which allows for the current Attorney General Raúl Cervantes Andrade to automatically become the General Prosecutor for the next nine years.
This clause has already caused a schism at the Senate as apparently President Enrique Peña Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) representative Senator Emilio Gamboa had apparently negotiated with five National Action Party (PAN) senators to vote for Cervantes’ “automatic pass” to become the first Prosecutor of the Nation, a new post.
That bubble burst quickly as PAN leader Ricardo Anaya accused the five senators of “treason” and called for kicking them out of PAN; that process is still underway as the accused senators claim innocence.
But Thursday Anaya – who is not a deputy – went to the Chamber of Deputies to protest and discuss the “imposition” of Cervantes as Prosecutor – a position similar to the head of the FBI in the United States.
Anaya did not go alone but was accompanied by his recent partners and leaders of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) Alejandra Barrales and Citizens’ Movement Dante Delgado. Among the three managed to gather 257 signatures to stall the election of the new chairman of the Chamber of Deputies and PRI member José Carlos Ramírez Marín.
Electing Ramírez Marín – it’s the PRI’s turn to preside over the Chamber of Deputies – is not the issue. Again the crux of the political quagmire is the “appointment” of the Attorney General as Prosecutor.
By stopping the Chamber of Deputies cold, the parties are forcing the issue of reviving the vote to kill the clause that says that automatically the Attorney General (Raúl Cervantes Andrade) will become Prosecutor.
What the PAN-PRD-MC bloc wants is a truly “independent” Prosecutor who has no commitments to any one political party as Cervantes has twice been deputy and once senator for PRI. His “automatic pass” would mean — or so claims the bloc — a shield of security and impunity to all of the PRI “crooks” President Enrique Peña Nieto is now trying to protect.
In fact this is an accusation that’s been made in the past and the President did not like. A year ago he sent a piece of legislation removing the automatic pass clause for the Attorney General to Prosecutor but PRI deputies and senators froze it and it is still in the legislative freezer.
This move was seen as a way to save face for Peña Nieto and claim he tried to change the automatic pass clause and claim he tried his best to no avail. The legislation sent by the President may be revived now and approved as a means out of this confrontation.
To boot against PRI, this past week it was revealed in the press that Cervantes is the happy owner of a Ferrari luxury vehicle worth nearly $400,000. That would not be a crime but Cervantes – who says he bought it while he was still in private law practice – registered the car in the state of Morelos and has never paid the luxury car tax that goes with this kind of transport.
The Ferrari has become a major scandal and it is definite now that Cervantes might have been able to survive over the political turmoil at both chambers of legislation but as of Wednesday he’s not only deemed as another crooked PRI politician but also because when the Ferrari scandal broke out earlier this week, they still back him up. Now that support has fizzled. The noisy Ferrari scandal has run him over and has hopelessly gained him the ill repute of being a tax dodger; he’s dead.
Scrapping the automatic pass of Cervantes from Attorney General to Prosecutor of the Nation seemed to be the only sensible way for PRI at both houses of Congress and now take the President’s face saving piece of legislation to floor votes in both houses, and indeed elect an independent citizen to be the Prosecutor of the Nation.
In the meantime the Treasury and Public Finance Secretariat (SHCP) is sending its proposal for the 2018 Economic Budget on Friday and if apparently Chamber PRI leader César Camacho struck a deal with the PAN-PRD-MC bloc in order to hold the election and proceed with the programmed legislative agenda including now the vote on the President’s piece changing the article on the automatic pass for the Attorney General to Prosecutor of the Nation.
But without a question, it was Cervantes own Ferrari that ran over him killing his hopes to become the nation’s first Prosecutor.
And at PRI all are shouting… ouch!!!
Only in Mexico!!!