Mexicans live in an electoral democracy where the right to universal suffrage is fully exercised. The country is a federal republic composed of thirty-two federal entities: thirty-one states and Mexico City and has a Presidential system of government. There are three branches of government: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial both at the federal and the state levels.
The Federal Executive branch is headed by the President of Mexico, who is Head of Government, Head of State, and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. The President, the Governors of each state and the Mayor of Mexico City serve a single six-years term in office with no noposibility of re-election.
The Legislative Branch is constituted by a bicameral Federal Congress, which is divided into a Senate (Upper Chamber) and a Chamber of Deputies (Lower Chamber). The Legislative Branch of each of the thirty-two federal entities is composed of one single chamber: those belonging to the thirty-one states are called local congresses and for Mexico City it is called the Legislative Assembly.
The Federal Congress is composed as follows:
1) 500 deputies for the Lower Chamber: 300 chosen by the principle of relative majority and 200 by proportional representation who serve three-year terms.
2) 128 senators: 64 chosen by the principle of relative majority, 32 by proportional representation and 32 by first minority who serve six-year terms.
The highest body in the Judicial Branch is the Supreme Court of Justice, made up of eleven ministers proposed by the President and elected by the vote of two thirds of the members of the Upper Chamber, and serve fifteen-year terms. The Judicial Branch of the thirty-two federal entities is headed by their respective Supreme Court of Justice.
The Political-Electoral Reform of 2014 allows for Mexican deputies to be re-elected for up to four consecutive terms and senators for up to two consecutive terms.
The reform also strengthened citizen participation by:
1. Ensuring gender equality in elections by making it obligatory for political parties to give 50% of their legislators’ candidacies to women;
2. Strengthening independent candidacies by ensuring that citizens running for popular election posts obtain public resources and airtime;
3. Facilitating the exercise of voting rights of Mexicans living abroad, and
4. Guaranteeing the right of indigenous peoples and communities to elect representatives to town halls and to the exercise of their internal forms of governance.
General elections in 2018
On July 1st 2018, federal and local elections were held in Mexico for President, the entirety of the Mexican Chamber of Deputies and Senate, 8 Governorships and the Head of Government of Mexico City, as well as more than 17,500 local congresses, city councils, and municipalities, the largest number of elected positions in history.
Andrés Manuel López Obrador, candidate of the coalition “Juntos Haremos Historia” formed by MORENA (National Regeneration Movement), PT (Workers Party) and PES (Social Encounter Party), was elected President of Mexico. López Obrador won 53% of the vote, while Ricardo Anaya, leader of the “Coalición por México al Frente” obtained 22%, José Antonio Meade, leader of the coalition “Todos por México” obtained 16% while independent candidate Jaime Rodriguez Calderón obtained 5%.
López Obrador’s political party MORENA obtained an absolute majority in both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, and won 4 of the 8 elections for governor (Chiapas, Morelos, Veracruz & Tabasco), as well as Mexico City, PAN (National Action Party) won in Guanajuato, Yucatan and Puebla, and MC (Social Movement) won in Jalisco.
In order to find more information about the results of Mexican elections, please visit the website of National Electoral Institute INE (available only in Spanish).