What is it about fighting corruption that the Mexican Senate does not even want to discuss it? I will let you guess the answer but the fact is that all procedures to fully launch the National Anti-Corruption System (SNA) have been stalled — again — by election-losing political parties.
According to National Action Party (PAN) Senate leader Pablo Escudero, the NSA’s final stages will continue stalled until the Higher Electoral Tribunal of the Federation solves the objections filed by PAN over the cleanliness of the last June 4 elections in the states of Coahuila and State of Mexico.
Senator Escudero denies “stalling” the call for an extraordinary period to discuss the also very much stalled definition of the SNA but insists that it cannot be done until there’s a clear decision on the elections for governor, both won by Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) candidates.
To make things stretch further, it will be on July 18 that the Electoral Institutes of the two states issue the recognition of majority to winning candidates. It will be then that PAN will take their case to the Federal electoral court for a second opinion and final decision. A final decision will come August at the earliest, or September at the latest, enough time for the entire Senate to go on vacation and restart legislation on the legal date slated for it, September First.
But there’s a lot more than just meeting timetables in the suspect attitude of all political parties as represented by the Senators. The moment discussions start on the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption System, it will mean that they will have to approve of a group of already nominated judges and even make the tougher decision of appointing the anti-corruption czar, a post that is slated by law to last nine years.
Senator Escudero insists that “the conditions are currently non-existent” to go ahead an open up an extraordinary period to start discussing the implementation of the SNA.
To boot, Senator Fernando Herrera (PAN-Aguascalientes), head of the Senate Political Coordination Office claims that selecting judges and the “anti-corruption fiscal” might also need yet another constitutional amendment as these are brand new positions not contemplated in the existing Magna Carta, which of course, may also take time if the Senate votes for discussion.
Escudero was frank about not wanting to discuss the already approved National Anti-Corruption System bill. There is more, however, to that than just waiting for election results, which are foreseeable as no radical change is expected either both in the states and federal courts.
Senator Herrera says that discussion among all parliamentary groups is making the final decision as to who the anti-corruption czar will be.
“We’ve reiterated it” said Senator Herrera on Thursday, “we want an anti-corruption fiscal not just to fill up a post within the organizational chart but to appoint someone who combats in depth the cancer this problem signifies for the nation.”
He went into specifics about amending Constitutional Article 102 in order “to give the anti-corruption fiscal full autonomy and create an environment for independence and make it thus for all the appointments.”
Another issue that could have been dealt with in an extraordinary period at the Senate – but will not, given the wait for election results – is the on-going discussion of the Interior Security Bill yet to be approved.
Senator Escudero shows exasperation with the stalling by different political parties — namely the PRI — which he feels way deep down is looking for ways not to discuss it, at least not right away.
“It’s incredible for someone to try and stop a security agenda when this is a most important issue for the citizenry. This having to wait for election results is not just absurd but also irresponsible.”
The appointment of the new fiscal and dealing with Interior Security Bill are “burning issues” but, says Escudero, “We’re at the mercy of the Electoral Tribunals.”
In short, the stalling of these two bills has been going on for longer than just this coming summer. The only problem is that without an anti-corruption fiscal, crooked politicians can get away and the without the Interior Security Bill turned into law, the Armed Forces continue being curtailed in their bloody fight against the ever growing national threat of organized crime.
Have a nice summer, Senators.