Mexico’s Government Wants Smaller Congress

The governing Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, said it would hold a referendum in 2015 to ask voters whether they support eliminating 100 seats in the lower house of Mexico’s Congress and 32 in the Senate.

The goal is to cut public spending and make it easier to reach agreements in Congress, PRI chairman Cesar Camacho said.

The Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Mexico’s Congress, currently has 500 seats, while the Senate has 128 seats.

The PRI is proposing the elimination of deputies and senators who hold seats based on proportional representation.

To hold the referendum, which would take place during the 2015 midterm elections, the PRI must gather 1.6 million signatures from citizens, a number equivalent to 2 percent of total registered voters, and submit them to Congress.

The National Electoral Institute must then validate the signatures and the Supreme Court would have to determine whether the referendum meets constitutional requirements.

Leftist parties are trying to organize a referendum on the energy industry reforms, while the conservative National Action Party, or PAN, said it planned to put a ballot issue before voters on the minimum wage.

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