Mexican Senate committees approve electoral reform

Mexico's President Pena Nieto arrives at The Economist's Mexico Summit 2013 in Mexico CityMexican Senate committees on Tuesday passed an electoral reform demanded by the opposition, taking Congress a step closer to a bill to open up the oil and gas industry at the center of President Enrique Pena Nieto's economic agenda. The Senate committees worked through reservations to the electoral bill on Monday night and gave it full approval early on Tuesday, passing it to the floor of the upper chamber. The electoral reform, which opposition conservatives had made a condition of their backing for the energy bill, would allow lawmakers to serve consecutive terms in office. The reform also sets out rules for coalition governments and aims to strengthen Congress at the expense of the president.