On July 6, 2003, Mexico held nation-wide elections to
renew the membership of the 500-seat Chamber of Deputies and to elect local officials in ten states.
Coming at the mid-point of the six-year term of President Vicente Fox, these elections, by
determining the balance of power in the lower chamber of Congress, significantly affect President
Fox's ability to enact his programs and set the stage for coming presidential elections in 2006.
Official results indicate that President Fox's conservative National Action Party (PAN) fared poorly,
while the long-ruling centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) secured a dominant position
in Congress, and the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) increased representation in
Congress and consolidated local control in the Mexico City Federal District. This suggests that
President Fox will have even more difficulty enacting his proposals in the new Congress. This short
report provides background on the functioning of the Mexican Congress and summarizes the results
of the 2003 election. The report will be updated to indicate the result of pending action in the
electoral tribunal. For further information, see CRS Report RL31876, Mexico-U.S. Relations: Issues
for the 108th Congress.