Transparency & accountability

Electoral Court accuses President Felipe Calderón of violating the Constitution

08/26/10 – The Electoral Court of the Judicial Power of the Federation (Tribunal Electoral del Poder Judicial de la Federación –TEPJF) confirmed that President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa violated the Constitution by transmitting a televised message concerning public security on the 15th of June, right in the mist of the electoral process, which has been described as electoral propaganda. In a draft submitted by the president of the Electoral Court (Tribunal Electoral), Justice María del Carmen Alanís, it was also decided by the court that two other messages disseminated by President Calderón, via electronic media sources on June 30th and July 1st, containing employment figures and tax simplifications also constituted a violation of the law. According to the court, the messages broadcasted by the president violated article 41 part C of the Constitution.

For two hours the justices discussed how to proceed in regards to the violation of the Constitution by the president and whether any sanctions were in order. Nonetheless, they agreed that there is no specific penalty for the holder of the presidency, despite being subject to the responsibilities inherent in the position like any other public official. In a phone interview with La Red de Radio Red, President Calderón said, “ I never alluded to a political party, I never alluded to the elections, independent of there not being federal elections, there are some, in various states. I never asked for the vote, much less made electoral references.” He also made clear that he lamented the court’s interpretation but respected it.

“It really does interest me what a president can say, because it follows that in the interest of parties, of some parties or simply just one party the president has to keep quiet in a country that has such serious problems,” he expressed.

Irízar, Guadalupe. “Calderón violó la Constitución.” El Manana. 26 Agosto, 2010.
Agencia Reforma. “Lamenta FCH resolución de TEPJF.” 26 Agosto, 2010.
Notimex. “Lamenta FCH interpretación del TEPJF.” La Cronica de Hoy. 26 Agosto, 2010.
Mejía, José Gerardo, Horacio Jiménez. “Mensajes de FCH sí violaron la ley: TEPJF.” EL Universal. 26 Agosto, 2010.

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