Mexico's top electoral court ruled Friday that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's name improperly appeared in surveys to monitor anti-poverty aid programs.
Some survey workers carried name tags and backpacks that included López Obrador's name. The president assigned them to interview aid recipients in anti-poverty programs, and to sign people up for benefits.
The Electoral Tribunal ruled that practiced violates Mexican law, which prohibits officials from using government funds to promote their own image or careers.
However, the court said neither the president, his top welfare official nor his party were responsible for the infraction.
Rather it blamed lower-ranking state and local officials who it said went too far, suggesting that something other than backpacks or name tags were involved. However, the court did not specify what the violations were or what punishment the 36 might face.
Opposition parties have questioned the survey workers, known as “servants of the nation.” Critics note that many of the “servants of the nation” were close to López Obrador's Morena party.
For decades, Mexico's old ruling PRI party used government handouts to buy or influence votes.
López Obrador has also been criticized for concentrating power, decision-making and public information.