Mexico Abuzz for Elections
By RICARDO CASTILLO
Mexico is abuzz with the chirping of political crickets – as politicians are nicknamed in the nation.
Over the past few days’ different blocks of political parties have begun to make their moves to allot positions to their respective candidates for mayors, governors, federal deputies and senators.
The most noteworthy movement was made by the three-party electoral coalition uniting center and left ideologues.
The awesome threesome is formed by the National Action Party (PAN), the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) and Citizens’ Movement (MC). Their coalition is named Citizens’ Front for Mexico.
Both the PAN and PRD held their national conventions last Sunday and its national executive committees approved to go in joint venture with one another. The MC, the smallest of the three parties, had given its approval in the recent past.
For this coalition, it still remains to be seen is how the three parties will manage to reach an agreement on the selection of candidates and the distribution of electoral districts, something they claimed should not pose a problem when distribution comes.
At the PAN, the alliance was given a vote of approval by a majority of 271 in favor and one against.
PAN leader Ricardo Anaya called the event “historic, as much for the party as for the nation, in order to win the 2018 presidential election and bring about the deep change Mexicans are demanding.”
The only vote against came from former Nuevo León State Governor Fernando Canales Clariond, who said that both PAN President Ricardo Anaya and PRD leader Alejandra Barrales had already “wrapped up the tamales,” as clearly Anaya wants to be presidential candidate and Barrales wants the candidacy for Mexico City mayor. which the PRD holds nowadays.
These parties have yet to come up with a full platform to present before the National Electoral Institute. The two most difficult issues to agree upon will be coming to terms on abortion and the lesbian-gay agenda, which the PAN has opposed and the PRD has supported, including same-sex marriages. Also the mode to select candidates was left open.
At the PRD, the members voted to let Alejandra Barrales be in charge of negotiating agreements with PAN and MC leaders. They claim that they have more agreements than difference and that by forming the Citizens’ Front for Mexico they will bring together their vote and win as many posts as possible.
At both gatherings, the leaders emphasized the success of such alliances on the international front among parties from the right and left, specifically in Germany and Chile, where left-right coalitions now hold the presidencies.
Another political party that held its convention on Monday was the National Regeneration Movement (Morena), which presented its political program for the elections.
At Morena, it is clear that the presidential candidate will be its founder and leader Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO). who will be filing for registration as a potential candidate, but will run uncontested,
Also up ahead this Friday, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) will hold its national convention to make public its platform and select “the manner of selection” for candidates, but mainly for the presidential one.
Many pundits see this upcoming convention more as a farce than a serious attempt by the PRI to open up to an internal competition through primaries, and believe that, in the end, it will be its leader, President Enrique Peña Nieto, who will designate candidates for president and state governors.
The PRI will go into an alliance with several other parties, namely the Green Party (PVEM), the National Alliance Party (PANAL) and the minority Social Encounter Party (PES.)
What is undeniable is that the mood for the upcoming presidential election – to be held on July 1, 2018 – is warming up and will certainly begin to sizzle as alliances and parties make public their platforms and register candidates before Dec. 14.
It will certainly be a most interesting competition to watch, particularly because all hints to the fact that the nine participating political parties in the Mexican system will be dividing the vote in three different ideological segments.
But for now, the crickets are jawboning.