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Mexico's ruling party votes to reform energy sector, allow sales tax on food, medicines

Mexico's ruling party has changed its platform to allow a reform that could bring private investment into the state-owned oil company.

Nearly 5,000 members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party voted unanimously at their national convention Sunday to remove language that for years had forbidden private money in Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex. The party also erased its opposition to sales taxes on food and medicines.

President Enrique Pena Nieto said the energy and fiscal reforms are needed for Mexico to become more competitive. He urged party members to support him when he sends the bills to Congress, likely in the second half of this year.

His party doesn't hold a majority in Congress, but it's the strongest legislative block with 241 of 500 representatives.