Friday, May 20, 2005
Supreme Court on the desafuero
Actually, that should be "Supreme Court decides not to rule on the desafuero." According to today's La Jornada, the Supreme Court decided that it could not rule on the case brought by the General Assembly of the Federal District (i.e., governing body of Mexico City). The General Assembly had claimed that they should have the same rights as states, and that AMLO should be treated as a governor. In those cases, if a governor loses his or her immunity, the case is passed to the local legislature for handling. The legal status of the D.F. has been in dispute for a while since the Constitution is vague. In the court's decision to not hear the case, they have cited that since the D.F. is not a state, and Lopez Obrador not a governor, they have not right to decide the case. Here's a direct quote:
Al resolver los recursos de reclamación interpuestos por la Cámara de Diputados y la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) en contra del acuerdo de la ministra instructora, Olga Sánchez Cordero, en el que se admitió la citada demanda, predominó el criterio de la mayoría de que la Constitución no considera al Distrito Federal como un estado, ni a su jefe de Gobierno como gobernador, por lo que no había argumentos para analizar la controversia constitucional....
Sin embargo, el ministro Genaro Góngora Pimentel cuestionó la falta de consistencia del pleno en la toma de decisiones, al recordar que apenas el pasado martes, por votación de seis contra cinco -en donde el ministro presidente Mariano Azuela fue también el fiel de la balanza-, la Corte hizo una ''interpretación constitucional'' que no está prevista en la Carta Magna, lo que dio lugar a la figura del ''veto parcial'' que tiene el Presidente de la República en materia de presupuesto.
It's not clear from the article what this means for Lopez Obrador's status. For his part, AMLO has said the issue is still open until the Supreme Court rules on the counter suit brought by the Chamber of Deputies.
At the same time, the new Attorney General says that they are still reviewing the case against AMLO to determine whether or not to press charges. According to the AG, the AG's office "applies the law and does not make political agreements." From El Universal:
El procurador general de la República, Daniel Cabeza de Vaca, aseguró que en la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) se aplica la Ley y no se hacen acuerdos políticos, al hablar sobre el caso del jefe de Gobierno del DF, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
De hecho, adelantó que el 3 de junio se vence el plazo para que la Subprocuraduría de Delitos Federales determine finalmente si acepta o no la propuesta del Ministerio Público de la Federación por el no ejercicio de la acción contra el político tabasqueño.
En su primer conferencia de prensa el funcionario federal indicó que está en proceso de revisión la resolución el Ministerio Público de no ejercitar acción penal en contra del político tabasqueño por presunto desacato a una orden judicial.
At his first press conference since taking office, the AG says that they are reviewing the recommendation of the Ministerio Publico to not press charges.
This runs counter to the early interpretations that all charges would be dropped. But is consistent with more recent declarations from the new AG.
Is this another case of one of the President's cabinet running amuck of the President's policy? (The first case would be several conflicting statements made by Fox's spokesperson and the Secretary of State Creel.) Certainly, several of the leaders that I have interviewed recently (running the gamut from dissident labor union leader, to PRIista, to business association rep) express the personal opinion that Fox has little control over his cabinet and he does not make firm decisions. That his administration is uncoordinated and heads off in several different directions at once. In the old days, the buck stopped with the President; apparently that is not so with Fox.
Ok. So that interpretation seems consistent with the inconsistencies that come out of his administration. His spokesperson says one thing, but his Ministers say another.
But could it be more devious than that? Are these guys renegade Ministers, or are they carefully deflecting criticism from the President (though of course at the price of making him look like an ineffective bobo )? What's worse for the PAN, that their party seem politically ineffective and incoherent, or that they seem out to get AMLO?
I'm not sure which scenario is more likely; I'm just wondering out loud. Could a man that manipulated his own party enough to get the nomination and win in 2000 really be unable to corral (a fitting word, considering his rancher image) his Ministers, including one only just recently appointed as AG?
posted by Michelle @ 5:21 PM,