Thursday, May 12, 2005
Mexican politics update
That's why you're all here, after all. While I've been busy waiting for and interviewing politicians, politics as usual has continued. An update of the three biggest stories of the last two days:
1. Continued finger pointing and accusations.
The PRI claimed that there is a secret agreement now between the PAN and the PRD to punish the PRI. The President's office replied by disputing any vendetta against the PRI.
The PRI is so defensive not only because of the administrations turn-around on the AMLO desafuero issue, but also because new fines have been announced in the Pemexgate case. [Yes, it is really called Pemexgate. Some political linguist would enjoy that.]
Pemex is the state-owned petroleum company. Pemexgate is the revelation that funds from the company were embezzled and/or used for PRI campaign expenses in 2000. The penalties in the case were finally announced: more than $2,000 million pesos ($US 181,000,000) in fines and prohibition of holding public office for 5-20 years for various Pemex functionaries.
The PRI claims that the case began during a bad period of PAN-PRI relations and then was left stagnant once the two parties began working together. The PRI claims that the recent announcement only occured because the PAN is now looking to form a political alliance with the PRD.
According to one of the articles, the PRI claims that the prohibitions against holding public office in the ruling were designed to exclude certain PRIistas from participating in elections, a la AMLO-desafuero. I'm not sure anyone will really buy that comparison. I doubt many will be sympathetic to the PRI's complaints about political persecution.
The Secretary of State says its absurd to suggest that Fox and Lopez Obrador "arranged" the fines and other penalties. At the same time, it does seem convenient that AMLO has been calling for clean election financing in 2006. And then, a big case of dirty campaign financing by the PRI re-surfaces days later.
3. The First Lady's children have been accused of financial improprieties, and the Chamber of Deputies is investigating whether the First Lady has used her position improperly. [I'm not going to bother with the links for this one....maybe later.]
posted by Michelle @ 9:20 AM,