Down With Bureaucracy

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Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador plans to eliminate nearly all remaining government oversight and regulatory agencies before leaving office next year, the latest clash between the populist leader and Mexico’s autonomous institutions, the Associated Press reported.

On Monday, López Obrador said he would send a bill to Congress to dissolve the federal anti-monopoly commission and agencies regulating telecommunications, the energy market and access to government information.

He said that the bodies were “wasteful agencies that do not serve any purpose.”

The president has accused the anti-monopoly commission of hindering his efforts to increase the power of government-owned oil and energy firms. Meanwhile, he has complained that the information access agency processes too many freedom of information requests from the public.

Observers said it’s unclear whether López Obrador has enough support in the legislature to implement his plan, adding that a majority of the institutions are enshrined in the constitution.

Any elimination or overhaul would require a two-thirds vote in Congress.

But the proposal underscores the president’s dislike of any kind of oversight – including the separation of powers – that has been a staple of his administration.

He has sought to reduce funding for the judiciary and removed the need for environmental impact statements on government projects. He also cut funds for the electoral watchdog organization, attempting to limit its powers to enforce election rules.

These watchdog groups were established by his predecessors to regulate formerly state-dominated sectors, such as oil and electricity.

López Obrador is expected to leave office on Sept. 30, following the June 2024 elections, in which he is ineligible to run because of term limits.

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