Mexico's Top Court Freezes Electoral Reform Ahead of Lawsuit

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters - Mexico's Supreme Court suspended parts of a controversial electoral law pushed by its president on Friday. It also confirmed that it would consider a lawsuit filed by INE, an independent electoral institute, seeking to overturn the reform.

Although the congressional electoral reform that President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's allies passed last month was a reduced version of the failed constitutional reform, it still managed to reduce the institute's budget ahead of next year's presidential elections.

In a statement, the court stated that it had frozen articles of the INE-resistant reform.

According to court statements, "The case before the us involves the possible violation citizen's right to political-electoral rights." The court statement also noted that the lawsuit involves constitutional issues that must be resolved.

Mexico's Senate approved the final electoral reform, known locally as "Plan B", late last month. Critics warn that it will undermine democracy because it reduces the INE and gives more power to local officials who are many Lopez Obrador's MORENA members.

Tens of thousands of protesters marched to the streets just days after the reform was approved by lawmakers. This was one of the largest demonstrations against Lopez Obrador's four year-old administration.

Lopez Obrador was unsuccessful in his previous attempts at the presidency in 2006 and 2012. He bitterly clashed against electoral authorities in both cases and claimed that he was the winner.

Leftist leader, who also advocated budget austerity policies during his tenure in office, has claimed that electoral reform will reduce political influence by $150 million per year and save $150 millions annually.