the president of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO)accused opposition deputies of “treason” and “sell-outs” on Monday for preventing Congress from approving his electricity reform that strengthened the state company to the detriment of private companies.
“Yesterday an act of treason was committed against Mexico by a group of legislators who instead of defending the interests of the people, of the nation, instead of defending what is public, became outspoken defenders of foreign companies that are dedicated to prospering, stealing”, denounced the president from the National Palace.
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Lopez Obrador made this statement in his morning press conference after the Chamber of Deputies of Mexico He did not get the necessary votes this Sunday to approve his constitutional reform with 275 votes in favor of the ruling coalition, 223 against the opponents and 0 abstentions.
AMLO acknowledged that it is the first time that one of his priority reforms has failedsince the votes of two thirds of the 498 deputies present were needed because it was a modification to the Constitution.
“These deputies supported the looters, to put it clearly, what happened is very unfortunate, although it is not strange either, it has happened in other times in our history,” commented.
The reform sought to limit private participation in electricity generation to 46%, review previous contracts and hinder private investment in renewables to favor the state Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), accused of having some polluting and obsolete plants.
As the president admitted, the initiative also sought to reverse aspects of the 2013 energy reform that opened up the sector to private investment.
“In 2013 they obtained an absolute majority, there was no opposition because they distributed money, that’s why it was called the energy reform, which is the reform that we are facing,” he mentioned.
The president warned that “this is not over yet, this is just beginning.”
He recalled that the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) endorsed this month the legal reform to the Law of the Electricity Industry (LIE) that prioritizes the dispatch of CFE plants over private renewables and eliminates “handy” systems ” of self-supply.
“Over there we already protected ourselves, we can already guarantee that we will not lack electricity, that we will continue to maintain the price of electricity for that reason that we did because we are already investing in the modernization of hydroelectric plants,” he said.
Lopez Obrador He asserted that, with this reform, the production of hydroelectric plants will rise from a proportion of 3% of total generation to 10% this year, and to 20% in 2023.
“We are already more producers of clean energy than the United States and other countries in the world, what happens is that in all this dirty business they talked a lot about clean energy because it was convenient for the corrupt,” he said.
The president also announced that he awaits the imminent approval of a legal reform to nationalize lithium, an aspect included in the constitutional initiative.