Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s proposed referendum on his own presidency has secured enough signatures of support from voters to go ahead, the national electoral institute said Tuesday.
Lopez Obrador’s plan to submit himself to a recall referendum halfway through his six-year term has split public opinion.
While the president argues that it is an important democratic exercise, critics accuse him of wasting resources and even plotting to circumvent the country’s single-term limit.
A campaign to collect signatures in favor of the April vote has reached the required target of 2.758 million — three percent of registered voters — the electoral institute announced.
Lopez Obrador promised after taking office in December 2018 not to seek re-election, following accusations by opponents that the referendum plan was a step towards trying to stay in power.
The Mexican constitution limits presidents to a single six-year term.
The proposed referendum has caused a rift between Lopez Obrador and the electoral institute, which says that it lacks the funds needed to organize the consultation.
Both the Supreme Court and the electoral court have ordered the institute to carry out the vote.
Lopez Obrador enjoys a public approval rating of more than 60 percent, according to polls.
He has overseen a series of referendums since taking office on controversial issues including his “Maya Train” railroad project and canceling a partially finished airport for Mexico City.
A public consultation held in August on whether to prosecute his predecessors for alleged corruption drew only a small fraction of voters to the polls.