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José Vargas is appointed president of the TEPJF

The magistrate José Luis Vargas Valdez was elected this Tuesday as the new president of the Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judicial Power (TEPJF), for a period of three years.

The seven magistrates that make up the Superior Chamber met on Tuesday in private to elect their new head, in an unusual event, since the election of their president used to be open.

Vargas Valdez obtained four of the seven votes, above Reyes Rodríguez, who had three votes in his favor.

With this, he relieves magistrate Felipe Alfredo Fuentes Barrera, who came to the presidency in January 2019 after the dismissal of Judge Janine Otálora, promoted by Vargas Valdez himself.

“In a private session, the magistrates carried out the voting process before the conclusion of the first term of the presidency of this jurisdictional body of the current integration, which culminated the magistrate Felipe Alfredo Fuentes Barrera, elected on January 23, 2019,” the Electoral Tribunal.

Originally, the election of the new president would be this November 4; however, it was decided to advance the process one day.

The magistrate Felipe Fuentes Barrera had the prerogative to be reelected, but the matter centered only between Vargas Valdez and Reyes Rodríguez.

José Luis Vargas will remain in office for three years, due to the fact that his term as magistrate of the Electoral Tribunal of the Judicial Power of the Federation ends in 2023, so it does not reach the four statutory years for whoever holds the presidency of the Superior Chamber.

It is expected that this Wednesday, in a public session of the Electoral Tribunal, José Luis Vargas Valdez will receive the presidency.

Vargas Valdez arrived at the Electoral Tribunal in 2016, for a period of seven years. The corresponding reform in which the magistrates are elected in a staggered manner has already been called.

The new president of the Electoral Court was the author, in 2018, of the project that outlined the annulment of the election in Puebla where the PAN Martha Érika Alonso would have obtained the victory. José Luis Vargas, at that time, spread his project on the social network Twitter, two days before submitting it for discussion.

The project was pushed back. The magistrate accused the then president, Janine Otálora, of leading political pressure to resolve the election in favor of Martha Érika Alonso.

Thus began a dispute with the magistrate Janine Otálora Malassis, whom he threatened to file a complaint with “elements and evidence” about alleged irregularities committed by her.

The event concluded with the resignation of Otálora Malassis to the presidency of the Electoral Tribunal, which was then assumed by Magistrate Felipe Alfredo Fuentes Barrera on January 23, 2019.

Among others, Vargas Valdez also handed down a sentence against Ricardo Anaya, a former presidential candidate for the PAN. The incident occurred as part of the resolutions of the 2018 presidential election. The magistrate considered that Anaya defamed businessman José María Riobóo, within the framework of the third presidential debate, where the PAN assured that the financier had an illicit relationship with him today President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. The resolution ended in a fine of 16,120 pesos for Anaya.

In October, Vargas Valdez presented the project that confirmed the decision of the National Electoral Institute to deny registration to the organization of Margarita Zavala and Felipe Calderón, México Libre, to become a political party.