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Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Mexican lawmakers vote overwhelmingly to end presidential immunity

October 29, 2019

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – A proposal to allow for the prosecution of Mexican presidents for a wide range of crimes overwhelmingly passed the lower house of Congress on Tuesday, giving the proposal backed by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador a shot of momentum.

Under current law, presidents can only be prosecuted for treason.

If ratified by the Mexican Senate and then passed by a majority of state legislatures, the proposal would reform the country’s constitution to allow presidents to be charged for crimes including corruption and organized crime.

Lawmakers in the lower house approved the proposal on a vote of 420 to 29, and it now moves to the Senate.

Lopez Obrador, who took office late last year, has made rooting out corruption a signature issue. His MORENA party and its allies control Congress.

Constitutional amendments in Mexico require two-thirds support in both chambers of Congress, as well as ratification in a majority of Mexico’s state legislatures.

(Reporting by David Alire Garcia, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

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