The PAN and PRD leaderships in Mexico State each approved a policy of alliances with the other to dethrone the PRI in next year’s gubernatorial election. However, Andrés Manuel López Obrador attacked the prospective alliance in meetings across the state. AMLO said, “If an alliance between the PAN and PRD is imposed from above … we will build our own alliance from below, of militants of the PRD, PT and Covergencia” and leave the PRD as “an empty shell.” (Reforma 9/27, 10/10, Universal 10/3)
Posted in Elections, Parties
The apparent victories of the PAN-PRD coalitions in the PRI strongholds of Oaxaca, Puebla, and Sinaloa vindicates the controversial strategy of President Felipe Calderón and PAN party president César Nava of forming state-level alliances with the PRD (and other left parties). In Oaxaca, coalition candidate Gabino Cué (originally from Convergencia) won 50% to 42% for Eviel Pérez, the protege of outgoing governor Ulises Ruiz. In Puebla, coalition standard bearer Rafael Moreno Valle won 52% to 41% for Javier López, the anointed successor to Mario Marín. Finally, in Sinaloa, coalition candidate Mario López Valdez (“Malova,” who until recently was a priista) beat Jesús Vizcarra of the PRI by 52%-46%. In all three states, this is the first time ever that anyone other than the PRI has ever won the state governorship.
Noted columnist Héctor Aguilar Camín, “Democracy is surprising, and defends itself well against predictions. The “unnatural” alliances of the PAN and PRD against the PRI have triumphed, far beyond what was expected. … The day, which had seemed for months like it would be a walk in the park for the PRI, has turned into a challenge for the party. It’s return to first place among voters happened, but in a competitive context that had seemed very unlikely.” (Milenio 7/5)
The coalition victories also strengthen the hand of PRD party president Jesús Ortega against Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who bitterly opposed the coalitions.
Another big winner would appear to be Teachers’ Union head Elba Esther Gordillo. The mobilization of the Union in favor of coalition candidates in Oaxaca, Puebla, and Sinaloa is being given credit for the PAN-PRD victories there. On the other hand, where the Union stood on the sidelines, as in Veracruz, the PRI won handily.
Finally, the success of the coalitions greatly increases the likelihood that the PAN and PRD will try to form a coalition for the State of Mexico gubernatorial elections in July 2011 — in what will certainly be viewed as the opening act for the 2012 presidential succession and a test for PRI front runner and current State of Mexico governor Enrique Peña Nieto. Failure of Peña Nieto to deliver the governorship of his own state would be a severe blow to his presidential ambitions and current aura of invincibility.
A Reforma national poll finds the PRI “alone in first place” in preferences for the 2012 presidential elections. “The PRI seems to be winning support nationally, including among sectors that were averse to them in the last election … younger voters, the more highly educated, and independents,” the pollsters write. Among the general population, Enrique Peña Nieto stands head and shoulders above his rivals in the PRI. López Obrador and Marcelo Ebrard are neck and neck in the PRD (although AMLO has a wide lead among party members). In the PAN, there is no clear favorite, with Santiago Creel, Josefina Vázquez, and César Nava each commanding only modest support. (Reforma 5/30)
A Mitofsky survey looking toward the 2012 presidential race shows the PRI leading voter preferences with 40%, compared to 16% for the PAN and 12% for the PRD. In answer to who would you like to see as president, Mexico state governor Enrique Peña Nieto was far ahead of all others. When priistas are asked about their preferred candidates, Peña Nieto is followed by Veracruz governor Fidel Herrera and party leader Beatriz Paredes. Panista preferences are for Senator Santiago Creel, congressional leader Vázquez Mota, and Jalisco governor Emilio González. Among perredistas, AMLO tops Mexico City mayor Marcelo Ebrard by 2:1. (www.consulta.com.mx)
|Andrés Manuel López Obrador dismissed the proposals as “pure deception” intended to divert attention from the economic crisis and to sustain the oppression of the people by the “mafia of power, politics and money.”
Without the presence of either Andrés Manuel López Obrador or Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, the PRD held its 12th national Congress, which was billed as a refounding of the party. Party president Jesús Ortega sought to shepherd through an agenda that included opening the door to electoral alliances with the PRI and PAN, and greater internal democracy to reduce the power of the party’s notorious ideological ‘tribes.’ Most outside commentary was acid: “Nobody can deny the good intentions, but neither can they deny that the new PRD is a Frankenstein. … What’s left of the PRD is hardly a party, not at all revolutionary, and years from being the light of democracy,” wrote columnist Ricardo Alemán. (Universal 12/7, 12/7)
Andrés Manuel López Obrador celebrated three years as the country’s “legitimate president” with a rally in Mexico City’s Zocalo a week prior to President Calderón’s commemoration. AMLO was prominently accompanied by Martín Esparza, the defrocked head of the Luz y Fuerza electrical workers union. AMLO said he had completed his pilgrimage to all 2,430 municipalities across Mexico and was refounding his movement. “Thinking of the transformation of the country, and looking toward 2012, we need to develop a new Alternative Project for the Nation,” he said. AMLO said the platform would be centered on 10 themes: “to rescue the State and put it at the service of the people; democratize the mass media; create a new economy; combat monopolies; abolish tax breaks; practice politics as an ethical imperative grounded in ‘republican austerity;’ strengthen the energy sector; achieve food sovereignty; establish a welfare State; and promote a new current of thought.” AMLO clearly believes his principal opponent in 2012 will be Mexico state governor Enrique Peña Nieto. (Excelsior 11/23)