The Mexican presidency is the paramount institution of the entire Mexican political system. The presidency has been labeled as the “six year monarchy” because of the unchecked power that has stayed in office. Much of the presidential power derives from the president’s direct and unchallenged control over both the state apparatus and the ruling political party, the PRI.
Presidents are directly elected by a simple majority of registered voters in the thirty-one states and the Federal District. Like in the United States, Mexico holds the titles of Chief of State, Head of ...view middle of the document...
Mexico has a Permanent Committee, consisting of thirty-seven members (eighteen senators and nineteen deputies) who assume legislative responsibilities during congressional recesses.
Historically, the Senate consisted of sixty-four members, two members for each state and two representing the Federal District elected by direct vote for six-year terms. However, as part of the electoral reforms enacted by the Salinas government in 1993, the Senate was doubled in size to 128 members. Since 1986 the Chamber of Deputies has consisted of 500 members. 200 of whom are elected by large plurinominal districts, and the remainder from single-member districts. Members of the Chamber of Deputies serve three-year terms. All members of the congress are barred from immediate reelection but may serve nonconsecutive terms.
The powers of the congress include the right to pass laws, impose taxes, declare war, approve the national budget, approve or reject treaties and conventions made with foreign countries, and ratify diplomatic appointments. The Senate addresses all matters concerning foreign policy, approves international agreements, and confirms presidential appointments. The Chamber of Deputies, much like the United States House of Representatives, addresses all matters pertaining to the government’s budget and public expenditures. As in the U.S., in cases of impeachment, the Chamber of Deputies has the power to prosecute, and the Senate acts as the jury. Both chambers share certain powers, such as establishing committees to discuss particular government issues and question government officials.
The judicial branch of the Mexican government is divided into federal and state systems. Mexico’s highest court is the Supreme Court of Justice, located in Mexico City. It consists of twenty-one magistrates and five auxiliary judges, all appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate Permanent Committee.
Mexican supreme court justices must be Mexican citizens by birth, thirty-five to sixty-five years old, and must have resided in Mexico and held a law degree during the five years preceding nomination. Like in the U.S. supreme justices are appointed for life but subject to impeachment by the Chamber of Deputies.
The Supreme Court of Justice may meet in joint session or in separate chambers, depending on the type of case before it. The high court is divided into four chambers, each with five justices. These are the Penal Affairs Chamber, Administrative Affairs Chamber, Civil Affairs Chamber and Labor Affairs Chamber. A fifth chamber, the Auxiliary Chamber, is responsible for the overload of the four regular chambers. Court rulings are decided on the basis of majority opinion.
There are three levels of federal courts under the Supreme Court of Justice: twelve Collegiate Circuit Courts, each with three magistrates, nine Unitary Circuit Courts, each with six magistrates; and sixty-eight District Courts, each with one judge. Federal judges...