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Master's Professional Reports Abstract

Following in the Footsteps of No One: Fobaproa and the New Role of the Mexican Congress in Mexico's Democratic Transition Sanchez, Horacio Gerardo.
REPORT 1999 A124 Public Affairs Library

For the past seventy years, a single political party, the Revolutionary Institutional Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional, PRI), has dominated Mexican politics. This Professional Report looks specifically at the breakdown of this dominance and the emergence of a more independent legislative branch, which answers less to the Executive and more to their constituents. This Report seeks to better understand Mexicoís democratic transition, particularly the role of the Mexican Congress, and to provide some propositions, including policy proposals about ways in which the Mexican political system might evolve in the future.

The purpose of this research is to examine the newly emerging balance of powers in Mexico, and the role of the Mexican Congress in Mexico's transition from an authoritarian government to a government that is more democratic. A presidential initiative to reform the Fondo Bancario de ProtecciÛn al Ahorro (Banking Fund for Savings Protection, Fobaproa) will be discussed as a case study, exploring the elements of the new processes of policy development in the Mexican political system, and examining the limitations and challenges of the Mexican Congress to act as an independent branch of government. the legislative debate on the presidential initiative to reform Fobaproa constitutes a unique benchmark to determine the direction of Mexico's democratic transition. To develop this case study the following questions will be addressed: (1) How far does Fobaproa indicate that Congress is becoming an independent branch of government? (2) Does Fobaproa indicate a permanent change in Mexico's policy making process? The report ends in a discussion of Mexico's democratic transition and the role of the Fobaproa debate in this transition. Where is Mexico in terms of its democracy? And more importantly, what remains to be done in order to complete the democratic transition?