La Profesora Abstraída

Weblog of Michelle Dion, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, at McMaster University. My blog has moved to Visit my other website.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Upcoming Mexican elections

From the title of the post, you might think they are upcoming this month or this year. But, no. I'm referring to the July 2006 presidential elections, and all the interested actors are well into their pre-campaign campaigns. Formal conventions will be at the end of this summer, and political parties must legally turn in their candidate lists in December.

In the meantime, the two parties with the greatest chance of winning in 2006 are struggling to keep themselves together.

Tensions have been high in the PRI for a while since the statutes state that if the President of the Party steps down, the Secretary General takes his/her place. Madrazo is going to step down to try to become the PRI's candidate in 2006, which means that Elba Esther would become President, and that's not acceptable for many PRIistas. (Liks to articles from last March.) Apparently, some sort of deal has been worked out to allow Gordillo to become President of the PRI when Madrazo steps down, and her supporters are threatening to leave the party if others do not respect the agreement. Gordillo is the head of the powerful teacher's union and has a considerable political following. At the same time, however, she's a bit like feta cheese, you either really like her or you really don't.

The PRD is having problems, too. Since AMLO is likely to become the official PRD candidate for 2006, Cardenas and his supporters have been saying things that dismay other party officials. Cardenas plans to build an alliance with or without the PRD and other parties have mentioned nominating him as their candidate, which has several groups worried.

And why have I singled out these two parties as those with the best chances in 2006? Because the PRI has a reputation of getting things done, even if not always in the most democratic way, and people in Mexico have become obsessed with "governability." Many think the PRI is the only party pragmatic and powerful enough to produce results. On the other hand, the PRD has a charismatic leader in Lopez Obrador who has a number of supporters and has been good at building new support within and without the party.

The PAN, for better or worse, has to live with Fox's (lack of) record; his government just hasn't been able to negotiate many of the reforms that he promised in 2000. The PAN's frontrunner for the nomination, former Secretary of State Creel, has been criticized bitterly for the gambling permits and other issues he handled during his tenure. The PAN is a longshot for 2006.

posted by Michelle @ 3:18 PM,


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