Mexico’s Senate on Thursday approved a constitutional reform eliminating presidential immunity from prosecution for crimes including corruption while in office.
The proposal, which had already been passed by lawmakers in the lower house of Congress, still requires approval by a majority of state legislatures.
Under Mexico’s existing constitution, serving presidents can only be tried for treason and certain other serious crimes.
Members of the Senate, the upper house of Congress, approved the reform by 89 votes to 23.
The proposal was spearheaded by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a left-wing populist who says presidential immunity has fueled corruption.
The coalition, led by his Morena party, dominates both houses of Congress.
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As an opposition politician, Lopez Obrador accused his predecessors of graft, but they were protected from prosecution by the constitution.
Last month, lawmakers approved Lopez Obrador’s request for a referendum next year on whether to prosecute five of his predecessors over allegations including corruption.
While such a vote is not a legal requirement, Lopez Obrador has said that his government will only take legal action if it has the support of the Mexican people.
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