Just on August 29, Manuel Velasco had requested a license as governor of Chiapas to be able to take oath as a senator of the Republic, since he was selected as such by the principle of proportional representation for the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM), even entering as coordinator of said party in the legislative body, and despite having been integrated at the last moment into the list.
Days before, the Congress of Chiapas modified constitutional articles 45, 52, 55 and 56 opening the possibility for him to return to the government of Chiapas for a few months, until December 8 when the governor-elect in the elections of the past first July, Rutilio Escandón Cadenas, will assume this position. The Constitution of Chiapas before its modification made it clear that the governor could quit only for serious reasons and it prevented that an interim governor, who has been governor in the same period, could return to his position.
On September 4, the Senate endorsed Velasco’s license to leave his position as legislator for an indefinite period. In a first attempt, this possibility had been rejected by the plenary, although after that the Political Coordination Board approved to modify the agenda, to allow a second vote in which 82 votes in favor were registered, 31 against and 4 abstentions. In a discussion that lasted four hours, several senators defended license applications as an inalienable right of any legislator. Gustavo Madero, of the National Action Party (PAN), criticized that the issue of the license was discussed twice in the same session: “Let’s not start the fourth transformation by denting the prestige of the Senate. Although it’s two documents, it’s the same issue. What we are seeing is a license application twice. We are going to be here for six years and we are going to remember that in our first session we voted on the same issue in two directions “. For her part, Senator Blanca Estela Piña Gudiño, from Morena said: “The modifications approved in Chiapas represent a new excess against the citizenship, since these reforms are made as a suit tailored to benefit Manuel Velasco Coello, this is also a sign that the will of the people of Mexico has not been fully understood ».
In previous days, the Coparmex of Chiapas had criticized the possibility that Velasco might return to the State Government and assured that the way of proceeding of the Congress represented an affront to the democratic and institutional life of the state. On the other hand, about a thousand people among activists, human rights defenders, normal students, displaced indigenous people, businessmen and trade unionists protested in front of the local Congress against the constitutional reforms that allowed the governor Manuel Velasco Coello to leave office, go to the Senate and go back to finish his six-year term. The protesters asked for a political trial against Velasco and that he account for the resources handled during his six-year term.
The fact is that the license was granted and Velasco’s place in the Senate will be occupied by Enrique Murat Hinojosa (son of the ex-governor of Oaxaca, José Murat), who was appointed as his substitute.
Several analysts have indicated that the vote in favor of this license was given in exchange for the Green Party to transferred to 5 deputies to Morena, led by the elected president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, allowing this later to consolidate an absolute majority in the Chamber. of Deputies (with 252 legislators). However, Ricardo Monreal, leader of Morena in the Senate, assured that there were no agreements with the Green Party.
Velasco affirmed that “I made the decision to return to Chiapas to face and fulfill my assignment until the last minute of December 8. I made the decision to assume my responsibility as Governor to close well the state administration and to promote a successful and beneficial government transition for my state”.
For more information (in Spanish):
Y a todo esto, ¡por qué le urge a Velasco regresar? En Chiapas dicen que es por los recursos (Sin Embargo, 5 de septiembre de 2018)
Monreal niega intercambio de favores con el Verde y Velasco; Batres pide atender la crítica (Sin Embargo, 5 de septiembre de 2018)
En 5 horas se perdió la esperanza de la “cuarta transformación”en Chiapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 5 de septiembre de 2018)
Morena consumó una dolorosa traición a Chiapas (El Tiempo de Chiapas, 5 de septiembre de 2018)
Tras intenso debate, el Senado aprueba dar licencia a Velasco (La Jornada, 5 de septiembre de 2018)
En Senado, Morena vota por licencia de Velasco; en San Lázaro el PVEM le cede 5 diputados (Animal Político, 4 de septiembre)
Que siempre sí: el Senado aprueba licencia de Manuel Velasco; volverá a Chiapas (Animal Político, 4 de septiembre de 2018)
Manuel Velasco mete en aprietos a Morena: le niega la licencia, se arma un caos y después se la da (Sin Embargo, 4 de septiembre de 2018)
Primero le niegan y luego le dan licencia a Manuel Velasco, para volver como gobernador de Chiapas (Aristegui Noticias, 4 de septiembre de 2018)
El PVEM cede cinco diputados y da a Morena mayoría absoluta en San Lázaro (Proceso, 4 de septiembre de 2018)
Manuel Velasco ya es otra vez Gobernador; lo reciben con protestas en Chiapas (Sin Embargo, 4 de septiembre de 2018)
Protestan ante eventual regreso de Manuel Velasco al gobierno de Chiapas (Chiapas Paralelo, 4 de septiembre de 2018)
Ciudadanos protestan en el Congreso de Chiapas por autorizar la licencia a Velasco (Proceso, 3 de septiembre de 2018)
Manuel Velasco será su propio sustituto como gobernador tras modificar la Constitución de Chiapas (Animal Político, 29 de agosto de 2018)
La farsa de Velasco: pide licencia como gobernador, rinde protesta como senador y se regresa a gobernar (Proceso, 28 de agosto de 2018)
For more information from SIPAZ:
Chiapas: Manuel Velasco presents his first Governmental Report January 1, 2014
Chiapas: accession of Manuel Velasco Coello to governorship December 21, 2012