Mexico City, Oct 8 (IANS/EFE) A total of 421,233 people have signed a petition calling on the government to hold a referendum on Mexico’s proposed energy industry reforms, former presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Monday.
The campaign will continue in an effort to reach 1 million signatures by Oct 27, when the leftist National Regeneration Movement, or Morena, holds its convention, Lopez Obrador said during a press conference in the Gulf city of Veracruz.
Many of the signatures were gathered during a march Sunday in Mexico City organised by Morena to protest the energy industry reforms proposed by President Enrique PeÃ±a Nieto.
PeÃ±a Nieto presented a bill to Congress that would change Article 27 and Article 28 of the Mexican Constitution, opening the way for the private sector to invest in oil and gas exploration and production projects via profit-sharing agreements with the state.
Congress should not approve the bill because no congressional or presidential candidates discussed changing the constitutional articles during the last federal elections, Lopez Obrador said.
Protesters participating in Sunday’s march were asked which options they wished to pursue in case PeÃ±a Nieto was successful in enacting the reforms, the former Mexico City mayor said.
The protesters want to peacefully surround Congress and the 31 state legislatures as soon as lawmakers begin debating the reform bill, Lopez Obrador said.
Morena plans to hold a rally Oct 27 in the Zocalo, Mexico City’s largest plaza.