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Mexico: Proposal to give seats to poor people in Congress moves forward

The project wants to allocate 50 seats to people from underrepresented groups.

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Mexico could force political parties and coalitions to nominate people living in poverty to the Chamber of Deputies. This is part of the so-called affirmative action program that allegedly seeks to rectify the discrimination of certain social groups.

A new project led by Uuc-kib Espadas, advisor to the National Electoral Institute (INE) of Mexico, wants to modify the fixed quotas for vulnerable groups, adding potential seats for political parties.

The Commission of Prerogatives and Political Parties of the INE has already approved the new lists with the quotas for the affirmative action program that parties will have to meet. In the Chamber of Deputies alone, 50 seats would be allocated to these marginalized groups.

According to the proposal, political parties and coalitions would be required to nominate 20 potential candidates to the Chamber of Deputies, 12 of which would be elected via a relative majority (where they will be elected by majority vote) and eight via proportional representation (where citizens do not vote directly for one person, but for a group of candidates nominated by a political party).

Within a relative majority, four seats would be reserved for people of African descent, of diverse sexual orientation, individuals with disabilities and citizens living in poverty. Meanwhile, proportional representation would allocate additional seats for migrants or residents abroad.

In the Chamber of Deputies, 30 indigenous candidates would also have to be nominated. Eighteen would be elected via relative majority and 12 via proportional representation.

In the Senate, a candidate of Afro-Mexican descent, one of diverse sexual orientation, and a candidate with disabilities would have to be nominated, as well as migrant candidates and residents abroad for seats elected via proportional representation.

The indigenous population would need to be represented with three candidates in the Senate. One would be elected via relative majority and two via proportional representation.

The General Council of the INE still needs to discuss and vote on the project. The proposal to add more identity quotas has generated outrage on social media.

Criticism of the proposal

Many users criticized that Congress is already full of "manipulable" people who are not prepared, which affects decision-making.

"Inclusive democracy is not democracy because you limited the will of the majority. Systems that favor the government," complained another X user.

Another user said, "You have to know when to stop. The issue of identity quotas is getting out of hand.”