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Opposition bloc from Yucatán helped defeat AMLO’s energy reforms

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Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador failed to find enough votes late Sunday to pass a constitutional reform limiting private and foreign firms in the electrical power industry. File photo / AP

A coalition made up of Yucatán’s congressional delegation helped defeat a stinging defeat of the president’s energy reforms on Sunday.

The constitutional reform would have guaranteed the state-owned CFE over half the market and nationalize future lithium exploration. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador described opposition lawmakers as traitors.

The ruling Morena party and its allies fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to approve the constitutional bill. All but two representatives were present for the vote; 275 deputies were in favor of the proposed reform while 223 voted against it.

The Easter Sunday debate and vote on the constitutional bill was closely watched in Mexico given that its approval would have drastically altered rules governing participation in the country’s energy sector.

Opposition from Yucatán complained that uncertainty over the CFE’s role already scuttled 12 green-energy projects in the state.

It was the first time that a constitutional reform put forward by a Mexican president had been rejected.

López Obrador is a staunch nationalist determined to roll back the 2013 reform that opened up the energy sector to private and foreign companies

The opposition bloc from Yucatan did the right thing and looked after the interests of their constituents, said the president of the Business Coordinating Council, Iván Rodríguez Gasque.

“We must continue working for the good of Yucatan. We continue to pay the highest electricity rate in the country; we lack generating plants that run on natural gas,” said the business leader. The bloc was formed by the PAN, PRI, PRD and Movimiento Ciudadano.

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