Tuesday, May 6, 2014

MORENA opens campaign to repeal PEMEX reforms

Guadalajara -
Mexico's ultra left National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) announced Monday that it will begin an effort to collect the two million signatures needed to place an energy reform recall petition on the ballot in June 2015. The party hopes to repeal constitutional amendments passed by overwhelming congressional majorities last December, and ratified by Mexico's 32 states in less than a week. Those amendments abolished Mexico's 75 year old state monopoly over Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX), and opened the underperforming and chronically cash starved hydrocarbon producer to foreign capital investment and technical partnerships.

Several weeks ago MORENA delivered a purported 1.7 million signatures to Mexico's Senate, which is charged with the duty of overseeing citizen referendums. The Senate validated them, but many more are needed under the Popular Consultation Law, which sets as a prerequisite a percentage of registered voters.

It is unclear whether a repeal procedure is legally possible at this late stage. On Mar. 27 the Supreme Judicial Court of Mexico dismissed a lawsuit filed in December by the left wing Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), which contended that congress had no authority to change the structure or operating rules of PEMEX without first submitting the question to a public referendum. The 11 judicial ministers of the highly divided court were unable to agree on a primary legal rationale in rejecting PRD's lawsuit, focusing instead on procedural and technical defects in the proceeding. Some of the judges, at least implicitly, left the door open to a citizen recall vote, while others suggested it was far too late to undo the clearly expressed will of Mexico's congress and all of its states. Mexican high court tosses leftist lawsuit challenging PEMEX reforms.

MORENA founder and leader Andrés Manuel López Obrador personally presented a letter to each Supreme Court judge last month, demanding clarification of the court's opinion. He was promptly and firmly rebuffed, with a reminder from the chief minister that the court issues rulings only in pending litigation, and not in response to private citizen inquiries.

Yesterday López Obrador said that MORENA must gather the signatures by September, in time for the issue to be placed on a June 2015 ballot. The proposed "Popular Consultation" question would be, "Do you agree or not that concessions and contracts with respect to petroleum exploration and production be awarded to private enterprises and foreign entities?"

"No to the biggest robbery of all time" - Mexico City, Dec. 1

"We're going to forever defend our oil, which belongs to the people and not to the government. We're going to take it back. That's what MORENA is about. We must move forward," López Obrador said.

In remarks which plainly ignored the predictions of many energy reform supporters, both within and without Mexico, López Obrador added, "In the last 17 months, the price of gasoline has risen two pesos a liter. We can't stand around with our arms crossed while the cost of gas, diesel, gasoline and electricity goes up every month. Nothing good for ordinary people will come out of all this."

PRD is also lobbying for a repeal of the energy reforms, although it will pursue its own strategy and not join MORENA's signature collection effort. In the meantime Mexico's congress continues working on so-called PEMEX secondary legislation and administrative regulations, which will implement last year's constitutional amendments.

Oct. 30, 2014 - Mexico's Supreme Court rejects call for repeal vote on PEMEX energy reforms
Aug. 30, 2014 - PRD's Marcelo Ebrard breaks with Left: "It's too late to undo the PEMEX reforms"
Oct. 7, 2013 - López Obrador calls for campaign of public protest and civil disobedience over pending PEMEX reforms
Sept. 21, 2013 - Andrés Manuel's vision for Mexico
Sept. 19, 2013 - Mexico's Left determined to shackle the nation to the past

"Say no to the PRIvatization of PEMEX"

Energy reforms and PEMEX
Mar. 18 - On 76th anniversary of Mexican oil expropriation, Peña Nieto says "the State remains the sole owner of energy"
Feb. 5 - On Constitution Day, far Left pol files criminal complaint against Peña Nieto for treason
Dec. 23 - Mexican energy reforms will lure in $10 billion dollars in immediate investment
Dec. 21 - Mexico's sovereign credit rating upgraded on PEMEX reform news
Dec. 20 - PEMEX reforms are now officially the law
Dec. 19 - U.S. Senate approves transborder oil exploration bill
Dec. 16 - San Luis Potosí puts PEMEX reforms over the top
Dec. 15 - Jalisco and all of Yucatán peninsula approve PEMEX reforms
Dec. 13 - Mexican states rush to endorse PEMEX reforms
Dec. 11 - Mexico's Chamber of Deputies wastes no time, approves PEMEX reforms
Dec. 11 - Mexico's PEMEX: senators open the door to foreign expertise and private capital
Dec. 10 - Mexican leftists go to court to stop PEMEX reforms
Dec. 8 - PEMEX amendments are on the legislative "fast track"
Nov. 30 - As energy reform vote approaches, PRD exits Pact for Mexico
Nov. 3 - Forbes praises Peña Nieto's "courageous" energy policy
Sept. 23 - Energy reform debate opens in Mexican Senate; warnings of foreign takeover of PEMEX
Sept. 21 - "The fix is in" on energy reform, says AMLO: new laws "designed for foreign business"
Sept. 20 - Without energy reform, Mexico will need more than half a century to reach U.S. output

© MGR 2014. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.

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