Mexico City has a complex legal nature. The Political Constitution of the Mexican United States (Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos) (CPEUM, Article 44) describes Mexico City as seat of the Powers of the Federation and at the same time as the capital of the Mexican United States. This nature prevents it from having a local constitution as the remaining states that form the federation.
For a better understanding of this situation it is necessary to comment some of the background of the Federal District.
In 1928, a constitutional amendment determined that the Federal Congress (Congreso de la Unión) will be entitled to create laws for every subject matter regarding the Federal District and that the government of the locality will be in charge of the President of the Republic. This amendment was the basis for the disappearance of the Boroughs at the capital of the country and, from that moment the inhabitants of the capital lost their right to elect their local leaders, being limited to elect federal deputies and senators as well as the head of the executive power in the country.
This situation started to change in 1987, when the inhabitants of the capital elected the representatives of the Legislative Assembly of the Federal District. Notwithstanding, the real transformation began in the last decade of the XX century when the new constitutional amendments promoted the recovery of the political-elective rights of the inhabitants of the capital.
In this way, on 1993 and 1996 the CPEUM was modified and since 1997 the results of these amendments were visible. In this year, and for the first time in more than 60 years, the inhabitants of the capital elected their local authority: the Head of Government of the Federal District. From this moment the head of the executive power of Mexico City was no longer appointed by the president of the Republic, and from the year 2000 it was also possible to elect the heads of the Borouhgs.
Being entertained by the constitutional amendment of 1993, the modification of article 122 is stressed out, by means of which the Federal Congress was entitled to issue the Government Statutes of the Federal District (EGDF).
Thus, based on this constitutional amendment, among other things, it was set forth that the EGDF ruled the authorities that, pursuant to article 122 of the constitution, were kept by the federal powers regarding the new local governmental entities: the Legislative Assembly, the Head of Government of the Federal District and the Supreme Court of Justice of the Federal District.
In 1996, a new constitutional amendment modified the name as well as the authorities of this local government entities: Head of Government of the Federal District, Legislative Assembly of the Federal District and Supreme Court of Justice but ratified the regulations under which the actions of each of these entities had to be submitted to: the Government Statutes of the Federal District.
In this way the EGDF, originally published in July 26, 1994 and last reformed on April 28, 2008, this ruling that works as a local constitution in the capital of the country, and its provisions “…are of the public order and general interest and are the fundamental regulation of the organization and functioning of the Government Federal District, pursuant to the provisions of the Political Constitution of the Mexican United States” (EGDF, Article 1).
Some of the provisions contained at the EGDF are the following:
It describes the legal nature of Mexico City, as well as its geographical boundaries (articles 2nd and 3rd);
Sets forth that the authorities of the government of the Federal District are: Legislative Assembly of the Federal District; the Head of Government of the Federal District and the Supreme Court of Justice of the Federal District (article 8);
Specifies the difference among the inhabitants and citizens of the Federal District (DF) and which are their rights and obligations (articles 16--23);
Defines the authorities of the Powers of the Federation regarding the Government of the Federal District (articles 24 – 35);
Specifies the grounds for the organization and authorities of the governmental entities of the Federal District (36—85);
Sets forth the basis for the organization of the public administration of the Federal District and the distribution of authorities among its entities (articles 86 –119);
Sets forth the Electoral Institute of the Federal District (Instituto Electoral del Distrito Federal) and the Electoral Court of the Federal District (Tribunal Electoral del Distrito Federal) as elections authorities at the Federal District, and it defines its characteristics and atributions (articles 120- 133);
Sets forth the requirements for the Political Parties in order to participate in the local elections, and specifies their rights and duties (Articles 120-123);
Characterizes the patrimonial regime of the Federal District (articles 137 – 145);
The Government Statute of the Federal District also contain the general provisions that as regards the elections must be applied at the capital of the country. In this way, it is established that:
1. The renovation of the legislative and executive local powers, and the heads of the political-administrative entities of the territorial locality (Borough), is carried out by means of free, authentic and periodical elections, under the principles of impartiality, lawfulness, objectivity, certainty and independence. Also it is set forth that the voting will be universal, free, secret and direct.
Also, it sets forth that the elections authorities of the Federal District can only intervene in the internal affairs of the parties under the terms expressly set forth by the Law and that the public officers of the local Executive, Legislative and Judicial powers, of the political-administrative entities, of the de-centralized entities and of the autonomous entities of the Federal District, have at all times the obligation to use the public resources under their responsibility impartially, without influencing the fairness of the competition among the political parties.
The advertisement that is spread by one of these entities under any form of social communication must have an institutional character and informational, educational or social orientation purposes. In any case whatsoever this propaganda will include names, images, voices or symbols that imply personal propaganda of any public officer or elements that relate to any political party. The Law will establish the penalties that correspond to the violation of this provision (Article 120).
2. The political parties with a national registry (granted by the Federal Electoral Institute [Instituto Federal Electoral]) as well as the political parties that have a local registry at the Federal District (granted by the Electoral Institute of the Federal District) are entitled to participate at the local elections. The local political parties will be established by citizens of the Federal District, with no intervention of guild organizations, or with a different corporate purpose and without the existence of forced affiliation. The Law will determine the requirements that must be complied for the registry of a local party, as well as the causes for the loss of the registry. The political parties with national registry and the political parties with local registry at the Federal District have the exclusive right to apply for the registry of candidates to local commissions elected by the public. Exception made for the provisions expressly shown; the Law will recognize the same rights and duties for the political parties with national registry and for the political parties with local registry (Article 121).
Furthermore, the Law will set spending limits for their “pre-campaigns” and campaigns; will recognize their right to form Fronts, Coalitions or use the figure of Common Candidate to apply for the same candidates in the elections of the Federal District; will regulate everything relating to electoral “pre-campaigns” and campaigns, the political or electoral advertising and the information that they must make public in order to clear their activities, respecting their right to safeguard the information on their pattern of militants and sympathizers. Finally, it will determine the procedure for settlement of local parties who lose their registration (Article 122).
3. The organization of the local elections is a state function that is carried out through a public independent entity named the Electoral Institute of the Federal District (IEDF), that has legal standing and its own patrimony and the national political parties and the citizens participate in its integration (Article 123). The supreme direction agency of the IEDF is the General Council, constituted by a Chairman Counsel and six Electoral Councilors entitled to speak and vote proposed by the congress groups approved by the ALDF, as well as the representatives of the political parties and a member of each congress group represented at the Legislative Assembly, entitled only to speak. The Chairman Counsel will be elected by the counsels of elections and will remain on duty for two years without the possibility of being reelected, the counsels of elections will remain on duty for seven years and will be renewed gradually (articles 124 and 125).
4. The activities that the IEDF has under its commission in a whole and direct manner are: training and civic education, elections geography, rights and entitlements of the political parties, roll and list of voters, impression of electoral materials, preparation of the elections, vote counting of the periods set forth by the law, declaration of validity and granting of records of the elections of deputies, Head of Government and heads of the political-administrative organizations of the territorial locality, as well as the regulation of the electoral observation and the polls and opinion polls with electoral purposes (Article 127).
5. The Electoral Court of the Federal District (TEDF), is an independent organization, the highest jurisdictional authority for solving disputes in a definite and uncontestable manner, and the objections to the elections of deputies, Head of Government and the heads of the political-administrative organizations of the territorial locality, as well as the objections about the violation of the political electoral rights of the citizens (articles 128 and 129).
The EGDF also sets forth the manner in which the magistrates that integrate the TEDF and the requirements that they must comply to belong to said institution. Also, it limits the frame for the definition for the electoral crimes and the creation of an objection system (articles 132 – 136).