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Mexican bishop urges responsible voting in elections

.- Bishop Rodrigo Aguilar Martinez of Tehuacan, Mexico called on citizens to cast their votes responsibly in the elections taking place July 4 in several Mexican states. He encouraged them to learn about the various candidates' proposals and to vote according to their Christian consciences.

In a statement, Bishop Martinez urged Mexicans not to abstain from voting, as “abstaining means leaving the choice of the elections in the hands of others” and failing in their duty, and their right, to make their voices heard.

“Perhaps you have reasons to justify not voting, but in the end, not voting means going backwards rather than forwards in democracy,” he said.

Likewise, Bishop Aguilar added, “As a Church it is not up to us to suggest which party or candidate we think is the best,” but as citizens we have “the right and the duty” to study the proposals of the candidates in order to cast a vote responsibly, freely and in secret.

“Once the voting has ended, both the political parties and the candidates, and in general, the voters, should accept the will of the people, and the results should be made public by election officials to avoid any divisive confrontations,” the bishop said.

“We have come very far in our democracy and in our participation in politics, but it is also true there is much work to be done to strengthen the common good according to our real needs,” Bishop Martinez said.  “We want better leaders, so let us commit ourselves to greater and more critical participation as citizens,” he added.

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