Mexico’s Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had spent months championing the bill. — AFP pic
MEXICO CITY, April 18 — Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Monday slammed opposition lawmakers for voting down his planned constitutional overhaul of the electricity market, labeling it an act of “treason.”
Lopez Obrador has spent months championing the bill that would have tightened state control of Mexico’s power market, but opposition lawmakers united on Sunday night to defeat the legislation that needed a two-thirds majority to pass.
“I believe that yesterday was an act of treason against Mexico committed by a group of legislators who, instead of defending the interests of the people … became outright defenders of foreign companies,” Lopez Obrador said.
Lopez Obrador’s National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) and its allies fell nearly 60 votes short of the two-thirds total required in the lower house of Congress.
Speaking at a regular news conference, the president struck a defiant tone, vowing “this is just the beginning,” and urging lawmakers to get behind a separate bill he wants debated today that will nationalize Mexico’s lithium reserves.
Lopez Obrador’s proposed market changes would have done away with a requirement that state-run utility Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) sell the cheapest electricity first.
Under the bill, the CFE would also have been set to generate a minimum of 54% of the country’s total electricity. — Reuters