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In Bobigny, a suburb outside of Paris
In Bobigny, a suburb outside of Paris
Louise Couvelaire

COULOMMIERS — In the working-class outskirts of Paris, people are counting. They count the number of houses now occupied by people from an immigrant background. "There are four Arabs opposite my house, four others at the end of the street, on the right-hand side, and one Black guy to the left," says 88-year-old Micheline, who lives in a street near the Templiers housing project in Coulommiers, east of the capital. A couple of retirees adds: "There are only eight or nine people like us left in the street, that's the worst part."

People count the number of cars too, and compare makes and models. "I have a Renault Clio and they have Mercedes and SUVs," Alain Gredelue, 69, grumbles from his modest house in Vaujours, a small town just north of Paris, in the department of Seine-Saint-Denis. "It really angers me." They also count things like retirement pensions, wages, taxes, the amount of time spent unemployed, the number of years they worked, what they were left with at the end of the month, and the benefits they were never able to claim.

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Geopolitics

AMLO Power Grab: Mexico's Electoral Reform Would Make Machiavelli Proud

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, aka AMLO, says his plans to reform the electoral system are a way to save taxpayer money. A closer look tells a different story.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico votes

Luis Rubio

OpEd-

MEXICO CITY — For supporters of Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) the goal is clear: to keep power beyond the 2024 general election, at any price. Finally, the engineers of the much-touted Fourth Transformation, ALMO's 2018 campaign promise to do away with the privileged abuses that have plagued Mexican politics for decades, are showing their colors.

Current electoral laws date back to the 1990s, when unending electoral disputes were a constant of every voting round and impeded effective governance in numerous states and districts. The National Electoral Institute (INE) and its predecessor, the IFE, were created to solve once and for all those endemic disputes.

Their promoters hoped Mexico could expect a more honest future, with the electoral question resolved. The 2006 presidential elections, which included AMLO as a recalcitrant loser, showed this was hoping for too much. That election is also, remotely, at the source of the president's new electoral initiative.

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