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Governor-elect spurs overhaul of Jalisco’s executive branch

February 25, 2013

Governor-elect Aristoteles Sandoval of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), who takes office on Friday, March 1, unveiled a proposal to alter the structure of the executive branch in Jalisco last week.

The proposal, drawn up by Sandoval, his transition team and over 200 analysts, aims to address shortcomings in the state government by eliminating some governmental departments and creating others.

Currently being considered by the State Congress, it is a kind of “Pact for Jalisco,” akin to the “Pact for Mexico” that the country’s three major parties signed in December following the inauguration of President Enrique Peña Nieto.

A major focus of the proposal is on increasing security in Jalisco, with Sandoval hoping to achieve this by merging the responsibilities of the Public Security Agency, the Secretary General and the State Attorney General’s Office. The governor-elect also plans to create an elite metropolitan police force with a unified command, instead of simply relying on the different municipal police branches that operate in Guadalajara.

The leftist Citizen’s Movement has warned that approving the bill would risk creating a greater “concentration of power” in Jalisco, while the National Action Party (PAN) has assured that it will not hand the incoming administration “a blank check” to govern how it pleases. Several civic society organizations have also raised concerns that the risk of abuses of power would be greater under a more centralized government.

The former mayor of Guadalajara, Sandoval, 39, ended 18 years of PAN rule in Jalisco by winning last year’s state election. He claimed 38.73 percent of the vote, with Enrique Alfaro of the Citizen’s Movement coming second with 34.18 percent.

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