Is Mexico a State?
Mexico is one of the largest countries in the world, and it’s also a very rich country. The country consists of thirty-one states, in addition to the Federal District, which is its capital and second-largest city.
In the last few years, President Zedillo has been making some important steps to change the country’s system of government and bolster democracy in Mexico. These include completing electoral reforms, fostering separation between the government and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), and strengthening Congress and the courts.
It is a Federal Republic
Mexico is a federal republic with a popularly elected president–who serves as head of state, commander of the armed forces, and head of government assisted by a vice president and a Federal Executive Council, or cabinet. The legislature’s two independent chambers cooperate to develop laws and approve budgets.
The judicial branch is led by the Supreme Court. Justices are appointed by the president on approval of the legislators.
In addition, there are many other judicial institutions including collegiate, unitary, and district tribunals. These institutions interpret the laws of the country and judge cases of federal competency.
There are also numerous political parties in Mexico, among which the most prominent are the conservative National Action Party (Partido de Accion Popular; PAN), the Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institutional; PRI), and the leftist Democratic Convergence Party.
The government has devolved most of the power to local governments, which are known as municipalities–or mayors, in the case of Mexico City–though not all. Municipalities, in turn, are responsible for implementing policies and providing services to their populations.
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It is a Parliamentary Republic
In a parliamentary republic, the legislature is the part of the government that makes laws. The executive is the part of the government that enforces laws.
A parliamentary system is a form of democracy that is used in many countries around the world. In a parliamentary system, the people decide who the leaders of the legislature are and how they govern.
The head of state in a parliamentary system is known as the president. The president is not elected by the legislature but is instead chosen by the people in an election.
The president can sign a bill into law with a simple majority vote, and he does not have an effective veto power. However, he may reject a bill that is not supported by the parliament.
It is a Federation
Mexico is a federation that consists of 31 states and one federal district. All branches of the Mexican government are independent of each other and operate from Mexico City, the capital of the country.
The central government has administrative, judicial, and legislative powers. The executive branch is overseen by the President and Cabinet. Legislative power is entrusted to the Congress of the Union, which is made up of the Senate and Chamber of Deputies.
A large part of the Constitution is concerned with civil rights and the labor market. It provides the right to organize and strike, minimum wage, an eight-hour work day, compensation following unjust termination of employment, and protections for women and children.
Despite some progress, corruption is a serious issue in Mexico and it ranks 124th out of 180 countries in the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index. The government has introduced anti-corruption protocols and laws that require public servants to disclose their assets and interests.
It is a Democracy
On paper, Mexico is a democracy; however, the country has experienced decades of turmoil and dictatorships that have left their mark on the nation’s democratic institutions. This has eroded the integrity of Mexican elections and the ability to hold corrupt politicians accountable.
During the 20th century, Mexico’s most dominant political party was the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which ran the country as an effective one-party state from 1929 to late in the century. The PRI never lost a presidential election, and most of its gubernatorial candidates also won their races.
But after three conservative administrations, Mexican voters elected a leftist candidate in 2018. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) promised to reverse neoliberal reforms and the war on drugs, build a democratic rule of law and enact major security sector and judicial reforms that previous administrations had failed to enact.
To support Mexico’s democracy, the United States should do more than speak at high-level meetings and write memos. It should strengthen its engagement with civil society groups, NGOs, and foundations focusing on transparency, accountability, and citizen rights in Mexico and Latin America.
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