In Mexico, more than 100,000 protesters rally against changes to election agency

More than 100,000 people gathered in Mexico City on Sunday to protest against an overhaul of the National Electoral Institute, which oversees Mexico’s elections.

Last week, with the support of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Mexican lawmakers approved making changes to the agency, cutting its budget and staff and weakening its power to punish those who violate election law. Federal one-party rule ended in Mexico in 2000, and Reuters says the National Electoral Institution has “played an important role in the shift to multi-party democracy” since then.

Those opposed to the overhaul say it threatens democracy, violates the constitution, and weakens the agency’s independence. The next election is in 2024, and López Obrador has denied accusations that he wants to use these changes to stay in power. The overhaul is a cost-cutting measure, he said, and the $150 million saved annually can go to pay for health care, education, and infrastructure.