Mexicans have started voting in a referendum promoted by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on irrespective of whether to investigate previous presidents for alleged corruption, but authorities have criticised the vote as a political stunt.

Lopez Obrador, broadly regarded as AMLO, has solid past administrations as deeply corrupt and made combatting the apply his leading precedence.

But critics have said the Mexican president hopes to use the consultation to energise his foundation, and that it is not likely to muster more than enough votes to be legitimate. To be binding, 37.4 million persons – 40 p.c of the electoral roll – have to take part.

Polls opened at 8am local time (13:00 GMT) on Sunday and had been owing to shut at 6pm (23:00 GMT), with the outcome anticipated to be recognized inside two or a few days.

Although the “yes” vote could win up to 90 per cent, it will be challenging to realize even 30 percent turnout, claimed Roy Campos, director of the polling corporation Mitofsky.

“The session has turn into ideological,” Campos informed the Reuters information company. “The president’s supporters are the ones who want to go and vote, and vote sure.”

Critics say the vote is a political stunt that will reveal President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s ability to mobilise his supporters [File: Edgard Garrido/Reuters]

That was echoed by Jose Antonio Crespo, a political analyst at Mexico’s Middle for Financial Analysis and Teaching, who referred to as the referendum “strictly an exercising in politics and media exposure” and observed that the final result of the ballot query is not in doubt.

“The question is not whether the ‘yes’ choice will earn, we know that 90 per cent or much more will vote yes,” explained Crespo.

“The issue is, how a lot of individuals will go out to vote? A good deal of us really don’t want to be employed in a manipulation. It will be an indicator of how lots of persons however assistance Lopez Obrador, of how a great deal potential he has to mobilise people.”

In accordance to a latest survey by the newspaper El Financiero, 77 p.c of respondents mentioned they would again the proposal to investigate former leaders, but only 31 percent of men and women claimed they would vote.

Rosario Gomez was among the all those who planned to vote at one of 57,000 ballot packing containers set up by the electoral institute, as opposed with a lot more than 160,000 for June’s legislative and neighborhood elections.

“It’s about time these intruders pay back!” the 52-calendar year-aged industry seller claimed.

Lopez Obrador has blamed the former leaders Carlos Salinas, Ernesto Zedillo, Vicente Fox, Felipe Calderon and Enrique Pena Nieto, whose administrations spanned 1988 to 2018, for aggravating a lot of of Mexico’s woes, from poverty to insecurity.

“The folks want participative democracy, not just representative democracy,” he said past week. “You have to have faith in the people, you have to have self-confidence in the individuals and their cost-free alternative, not be concerned of the folks.”

An advertisement showing an impression of Mexican former President Carlos Salinas phone calls for citizens to take part in the referendum [Christian Palma/AP Photo]

The president at first desired the referendum to request voters if they preferred the ex-presidents to be prosecuted, but the Supreme Courtroom requested a looser formulation to shield because of method and the presumption of innocence.

The query reads: “Do you concur or not that the pertinent actions be carried out, in accordance with the constitutional and authorized framework, to undertake a procedure of clarification of the political decisions made in the previous yrs by the political actors, aimed at guaranteeing justice and the rights of potential victims?”

Lopez Obrador’s administration has not specific what that course of action would entail.

The statute of constraints has expired for some costs that the ex-presidents could possibly experience, and the referendum could direct to the creation of a truth of the matter fee somewhat than lawful motion, Campos claimed.

But previous presidents can be tried like any other citizen and critics argue that the referendum is unwanted. “Waiting for the outcomes of a session is building justice a political circus,” explained Jose Miguel Vivanco, Americas’ director of Human Legal rights Observe.

Other opponents have said in a slogan: “The regulation must be applied, not set up for a vote.”

Fox, who was president from 2000 to 2006 and is a vocal critic of Lopez Obrador, has urged Mexicans to remain household. “Let’s not indulge in this farce,” he wrote on Twitter.

Mexico is ranked 124th out of 179 on Transparency International’s entire world Corruption Perceptions Index.