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Instituto Federal Electoral

Instituto Federal Electoral
Abbreviation IFE
Formation 1990
Type NGO
Purpose/focus Government elections
Headquarters Av. Viaducto Tlalpan 100, Tlalpan, Mexico City
Official languages Spanish
Director Leonardo Antonio Valdés Zurita

The Federal Electoral Institute (Spanish: Instituto Federal Electoral, IFE) is an autonomous, public organization responsible for organizing federal elections in Mexico, that is, those related to the election of the President of the United Mexican States and to the election of the members of the Lower and Upper Chambers that constitute the Congress of the Union. The current president is Leonardo Valdés Zurita.


The IFE was formally established on October 11, 1990, as a result of a series of constitutional reforms approved in 1989 and the Federal Code of Electoral Institutions and Procedures (Cofipe), a law passed in August 1990 and currently in force. The legislative branch of the federal government, the national political parties, and the general citizenry participate in its composition.

Since its creation, the constitutional and legal regulations in this subject matter have experienced further major reforms, which have had an impact on the composition and details of the IFE. The most recent of these reforms, approved in 1996, reinforced the level of independence and autonomy of the IFE by completely dissociating the executive branch from any aspect regarding its membership or functions, and by reserving the vote within all its directive bodies to the councilors, the members that do not have links to any party or to any state power or body.

IFE has legal personnel and assets of its own. Unlike its predecessors in the area of federal elections, it is permanent. Its headquarters are located in the Federal District, and it is organized under a decentralized framework that allows it to exercise its duties throughout the country.

Political parties and associations

IFE is also charged with the registration, funding and oversight of national political parties (as opposed to local political parties, which are registered by each state's Electoral Institute). Rules and guidelines for the registration of national political parties are outlined in the Federal Code of Electoral Institutions and Procedures.

In addition, IFE can register national political associations, which are intended to assist in the development of democratic life and the country's political culture, as well as being intended to create a better informed public opinion. The creation of a national political association is usually regarded as the first step towards the creation of a full-fledged political party.

Professional Electoral Service

In order to guarantee a professional and specialized performance of its responsibilities, the IFE uses a special system of recruitment, selection, training, and evaluation of qualified staff to provide electoral services, especially in its fundamental areas, which are the ones directly linked with the preparation and organization of elections.

External links

  • IFE website
  • Federal Electoral Tribunal website
  • IFE directory
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