Table 3

Features of Electoral Reform in Mexico, 1977-96

A. Issues of Representation

Year Registration of Parties Structure of Congress Other
1977 Established conditional registration to integrate new left parties

Those receiving 1.5% in federal elections retain registration

Created 100 seats in Chamber of Deputies reserved for minority parties chosen by PR

Increased total Chamber size to 400

1986 Conditional registration abolished Total Chamber size increased to 500, 200 chosen by PR

PR seats now open to majority party

governability clause introduced

Federal District legislative assembly created
1989-90 Conditional registration re-established

Limits imposed on electoral coalitions

Governability clause modified; if largest party, a party with 35% gets a majority of the Chamber; perfect PR if none get 35%
1993 Coalition formation made very difficult Senate doubled to 128, 4 from each state; majority party in a state gets three seats, first minority the other seat;

Governability clause rescinded;

No party allowed more than 63% of Chamber of Deputies

Art. 82 of constitution which prevented Mexican-born children of foreign-born parents from becoming president rescinded, effective in 2000.
1996 Registration to be lost if party fails to reach 2% of vote Overrepresentation of largest party in Chamber of Deputies limited to 8%

No party allowed more than 60% of Chamber of Deputies

Senate reformed so that 32 senators chosen by PR in a national constituency

Federal District head of government to be elected

Some power devolved to Federal District from central government

B. Issues Regarding the Integrity of the Electoral Process

Year Electoral Organs Electoral Process Other
1977 Federal Electoral Commission membership to include Sec. of Interior, one member of each house of congress, one from each registered party, and notary public

Electoral congresses composed of the elected congress members certify own elections

Permitted Supreme Court to investigate elections and revise resolutions of electoral colleges Structure for electoral organs in states mandated to parallel the federal agency
1986 Federal Electoral Commission membership modified to link party representation to most recent electoral performance proportionally Tribunal of Electoral Disputes established to provide "jurisdictional" perspective on disputed elections; electoral colleges not bound by its decisions District electoral committees permitted to recount votes
1989-90 Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) created; membership included Sec. of Interior, two representatives from each chamber (one majority, one minority), and representatives of each party in proportion to their share of vote (up to four)--still a government majority Federal Electoral Tribunal created with power to oblige electoral colleges to annul an election; president selects magistrates with approval of congress IFE to be a professional bureaucracy

voter registration list (padrón) to be completely redone

1993 congress will no longer certify its own election in electoral colleges; IFE to certify election of congress Parties permitted access to original documents used to compose padrón

Federal Election Registry to conduct campaign to complete voter registration and distribution of voter IDs

Vote counting simplied; district councils will make results available at precinct level for first time;

National, but not international observers

1994 IFE made more autonomous; magistrate councilors replaced by citizen councilors appointed through concensus of parties; party representatives on IFE lose vote electoral fraud criminalized and an Electoral Prosecutor's Office created "foreign visitors" allowed to observe elections
1996 IFE restructured; Sec. of Interior and representatives of chambers lose vote; IFE General Council to be nine voting members, all "citizen councilors" electoral law put under Supreme Court jurisdication

Federal Electoral Tribunal restructured

C. Issues Regarding Electoral Equity

Year Access to Media Campaign Spending Other
1977 Federal Electoral Commission empowered to coordinate parties' access to media and provide some funding Federal Electoral Commission empowered to provide modest funding
1989-90 Increased public funding of parties Greater right of access to information for parties
1993 IFE to arrange for access to radio and TV, partly paid for by state, partly by parites Principle of campaign spending limits established; IFE responsible to set limits; public financing to increase and be set in part on previous performance of parties
1996 Media access increased and determined in part by past performance Public financing greatly increased; no more than 10 percent of campaign financing can be private; public financing distributed according to formula favoring larger parties