Sunday, January 8, 2012

Institutional change on state levels: 4-year mayor terms in Veracruz

With the Political Reform by Calderón stuck in Congress and unlikely to be dealt with before the 2012 elections, it is of interest to note some institutional change on the state levels, as in the case of Veracruz.

Many reform initiatives have proposed reelection of legislators and mayors, at federal and state levels, yet have invariably met the wall, under the exaggerated mantra of "no reelection!" (which referred to the quarter-century presidency dictator Porfirio Díaz and had nothing to do with legislators or mayors).

In Veracruz, however, the state congress, following its backing by a majority of the state's municipalities, recently declared as legal a reform that extends the mayoral term to four years. I don't think that is a bad initiative at all. On the top of my head I can't think of any other state that has implemented similar changes to the state constitution, but I might be wrong here. Could state governments similarly change the state laws to allow for reelection of local deputies and mayors, or do any federal laws prohibit such initiatives? Far too early to tell whether this particular initiative, long in planning, represents something new - state-level initiatives as responds to failure at passing significant reforms at the federal level - but the initiative is interesting nonetheless.

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