Saturday, March 05, 2005
This weekend the PRI held their national congress in Puebla, during which they revised their platform and some party rules. The PRI is the political party that dominated Mexican politics and the state since the 1920s. It lost the presidency in 2000 for the first time in over seven decades. La Jornada has an article summarizing the main results of the congress.
The PRI is very divided right now due to a clash between the President of the party (Madrazo) and the Secretary General (Gordillo). The Secretary General recently founded a new 'democratic' federation of unions of government employees, which critics have said is only a political vehicle for the leader. She is also the leader of a current within the party called the Democratic Union, which has opposed Madrazo's candidacy for president. According to the PRI statutes, if the President of the party becomes the party's candidate for President (which most expect him to do), then the Secretary General automatically becomes the party's president. Since the Secretary General is such a controversial figure, many of the supporters of Madrazo do not want the current Secretary General to become president of the party when Madrazo becomes the party's candidate.
Apparently, members of the Democratic Union claimed that there were voting irregularities at the congress, including during important meetings of the rules committee. Some of the Democratic Union left the congress in disgust. Most of the rule changes had to do with candidate issues, such as whether a person who was elected to the Chamber of Deputies on a party list (rather than winning a district election) could be elected to the Senate in the very next election by the same means (and vice versa). The party also passed a law requiring those that want to be a party candidate for office to pay for their own public opinion surveys to document their viability and public support as a candidate. Though some complained that such a requirement would mean that only older and richer candidates would have the funds to run for office, the rules committee approved the new rule.
According to La Jornada, changes in the party's statutes also open the door for the PRI to support privatization of the energy sector, which is a contentious issue right now.
Other parties will be holding similar congresses in the next month or so, and conventions to choose their presidential candidates will occur in September.
posted by Michelle @ 10:36 PM,