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This article studies the major reforms in the history of the legal regulation of political parties in Mexico based on the political context in which they took place. The objective is to explain their origin and characteristics. I argue that: 1) The 1946 reform increased requirements for the recognition of political parties; it was passed to prevent the electoral participation of threats to the official party. 2) The 1977 reform loosened requirements for the recognition of political parties; it intended to open the party system to incorporate the extra-institutional opposition. 3) The 1996 reform increased public funding for political parties; it aimed to benefit the PRI in the case of losing the power. 4) The 2007 reform consisting of regulation of intra-party processes was passed to harmonize the constitution with the electoral court’s jurisprudence, establishing procedures and conditions. 5) The 2014 reform —standardization of federal and local legislation on political parties—, intended to transfer the characteristics of the federal electoral process to the states. Finally, 6) the most recent reform proposal, reduction of public funding for political parties, is based on the discredit of these organizations and on the exorbitant amount of money they receive. The study shows that the reforms approved during the era of a hegemonic party system (1946, 1977, and 1996) were aimed at benefiting the official party, while the subsequent reforms reflect a pluralistic context and emerged from the judicial power (2007), the opposition political parties (2014), and the civil society (last reform proposal).
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