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It seems to be a matter of considerable doubt who is President of the great Republic ("one and indivisible") of Mexico--Juarez or Ortega. Juarez admits that his term has expired. He holds on merely because, in the present condition of the country, it is impossible to hold an election. Certain "extraordinary faculties," also, he contends, were conferred upon him by the Mexican Congress. Ortega, on the other hand, says that the "extraordinary faculties" in question were conferred not by Congress, or a majority thereof, but by a committee of Congress, composed of one member from each State, and empowered by the Constitution to fulfill certain specified functions, of which the enlargement of the executive authority is one. There was, in fact, no Congress in session at the time Juarez was driven out of the capital. Ortega, further on, quotes an article of the Constitution which seems conclusive. It provides that "if, for any cause whatsoever, the election of President be not made and published by the first of December, or the President elect be in any way prevented from assuming his functions, the previous incumbent shall, nevertheless, cease to be President, and the Presidency of the Republic shall devolve upon the President of the Supreme Court of Justice." This clause would be decisive in any other country than Mexico, where they have a way of doing things peculiar to themselves, especially since Juarez himself became President by virtue of it, having been President of the Supreme Court at the time the administration fell into his hands. Ortega of Justice, but is also General-in-chief of the armies of the Republic — a singular amalgamation of offices, it seems to us, who, however, do not pretend to pass judgment upon such a peculiar people as those of Mexico. Juarez seems disposed to settle this claim after the Mexican fashion; that is, by putting Ortega in prison if he can get hold of him. If, however, Ortega issue his pronunciamento, and push matters to extremity, it is quite probable that before the arrival of the next packet he, and not Juarez, may be President. It seems a bad time for a disputed succession. So far as we are concerned, the important question is, to whom shall General Logan present his credentials? Governments change so incessantly in Mexico that an accredited Minister must always be in haste to reach the capital, lest he find himself there with his credentials addressed to the wrong party.
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