MEXICO CITY (AP) — A day after tens of thousands of people protested against President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s proposal to overhaul Mexico’s electoral authority, the president dismissed them Monday as people in favor of privilege, racism and classism.

López Obrador said Sunday’s demonstration — the biggest against one of his proposals in his nearly four years in office — was a kind of “striptease” revealing the intentions of Mexico’s conservatives. He estimated there were 50,000 to 60,000 protesters, an apparent undercount and well below the 200,000 estimated by the march’s organizers.

Opposition parties and civil society organizations had called on Mexicans to demonstrate against proposed electoral reforms that would remake the National Electoral Institute, one of the country’s most trusted institutions.

Protesters said they feared that López Obrador, who maintains high approval ratings and whose party controls more than half of the state governments, would use his proposed reforms would compromise the institute’s independence and make it more beholden to his party.

On Monday, López Obrador said his intention was the opposite: to protect and strengthen democracy.

The initiative includes eliminating state-level electoral offices, cutting public financing of political parties and allowing the public to elect members of the electoral authority rather than the lower chamber of Congress.

It would also reduce the number of legislators in the lower chamber of Congress from 500 to 300 and senators from 128 to 96 by eliminating at-large lawmakers. Those are not directly elected by voters, but appear on party lists and get seats based on their party’s proportion of the vote.

The proposal is expected to be discussed in Mexico’s Congress in coming weeks, where the president’s Morena party and allies hold an advantage.