Friday, December 8

Andres Manuel’s testament

That the chest of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is not a warehouse, generates more problems than benefits. It is not an act of honesty, but sometimes of irresponsibility –as when it reveals confidential documents of other governments–, or sometimes it transmits the opposite message to what one thinks it intends. Such was the case on Saturday, when after returning to the National Palace after a catheterization, he suggested that his health had not been good in recent moments, that he had not been fully governing and that, although he had now fully recovered, he had written a “political testament” so that, if he died in office, stability would be maintained in the country and the project he calls the fourth transformation would continue.

His candor raised many questions about his health and what he has in mind to maintain power, if not directly, then through post-mortem instructions, which he called his “political will.” What prompted you to speak impromptu on such a sensitive topic? He still does not understand that, as President, his word has a different gravitas than the rest of Mexicans, and leaving on the table the possibility of his death in office does not generate certainty, but rather the opposite.

There are two worrying axes, the one that has to do with his health specifically, and the one of the constitutional transition process in case of death. Both have to do with national security. For the President, as he made clear in a videotaped message on Saturday, his life and the transition are linked, but not by institutional means, but by political imposition. His exact words were clear: “I have a political will, I cannot leave a country undergoing a process of transformation, I cannot act, out of responsibility… with this history of heart attack, hypertension, my work, which is intense, without taking into account the possibility of a loss of my life, how is the country? Governance has to be guaranteed, so I have a will for that.”

What does your “political will” mean? Today he is going to have to specify what he was referring to, because what can be interpreted is that he leaves things tied up so that the Congress of the Union elects whoever he wants as substitute President to continue his work. The “political testament” does not necessarily mean a constitutional rupture, as some saw it, nor having set aside article 84, which establishes that, in the event of the absolute absence of the President, the Congress of the Union appoints an interim -if given in the first two years of government– or to a substitute –if it happens in the last four–, within a period of no more than 60 days, during which the position would be provisionally assumed by the head of the Ministry of the Interior. The appointment would be made through a vote, which requires a qualified majority.

What López Obrador hinted at, but requires a clarification on his part, is that in that “political will” he leaves the instructions to his benches and allies with the name of the person he wants to be elected substitute. Morena and the parties in the ruling coalition do not have a qualified majority in Congress, but in a situation of this nature, where effectively the absolute absence of López Obrador would generate undesirable instability due to the centralized and absolutist way in which power is exercised, it is highly It is likely that the opposition parties preferred to vote with Morena so that, since it was an order from López Obrador, whoever was elected from that vote in the Congress of the Union would have legitimacy before the radical social left that had been trained for a long time. years, by the current President in political destabilization.

The question would be if the “political testament” would reproduce a phenomenon like the one that Evita Perón intended, or if, faced with a candidacy without an angel and with few wings to fly, it would be Claudia Sheinbaum, the head of the Government of Mexico City , who will resume the banner of his project. Of course these are speculations, but if López Obrador’s concern is who can finish what he started, he needs whoever succeeds him not only supports and respects him, but also identifies with him and is ideologically committed to his project. They do not spare in their environment. Rocío Nahle? Manuel Bartlett? Do any of the moneros of The Day? His second son? Your friends from Tabasco?

López Obrador needs, for reasons of governability and stability, to clear up the doubts that his message aroused, where he hinted that his state of health is not as robust as it would seem. It is true that since 2013, when he had the double heart attack that almost killed him, he regularly goes to a routine check-up, but where he was operated on, Médica Sur, not at the Central Military Hospital, where he had never been before. The President takes daily medicine for high blood pressure, which he has under control, and since before assuming the Presidency, the doctors recommended that he not walk as before, due to back problems.

None of this prevented him from doing his job well, although in the video he suggested otherwise. “The doctors tell me that I can lead a normal life. That is to say, that I can apply myself thoroughly and that there is a President for a time, the necessary, indispensable, the basic one to carry out the changes, the transformation”, he pointed out. What exactly did he say? That the doctors predict that his life horizon will allow him to finish his six-year term? If this were true, is the diagnosis infallible?

“I am very calm and very happy because we have to complete the work of transformation,” he added. “But we are missing a stretch, until September 2024, if the Creator, science, nature so decides or continues to do so.” Certainly, we Mexicans need López Obrador to dispel the dust storm he raised and explain what, now with more aplomb, he meant.