By RICARDO CASTILLO
Officially, the calendar for Mexico’s 2021 midterm elections kicks off in October. But let there be no doubt that since President Andrés Manuel Lopez Abrader (AMLO) had his press secretary, Jesús Ramirez, read aloud the Broad Opposition Front (BOA) anonymous document, he either inadvertently or shrewdly kicked off the electoral year debate.
For background, please read my last column, “Mexico Moving towards a Two-Party System” In it, I quote AMLO as saying that now in Mexico the two-party system already exists, composed of those in favor of his policies, the liberals, and those against him, the conservatives.
He also said that a group of nine National Action Party (PAN) governors had answered him belligerently, denying any participation in the so-called BOA document.
What I skipped quoting from the governors was the fact that in their closing statement they claimed that they will present a united front at the PAN in order to prevent “a presidential monarchy” under the current president. AMLO took the statement as an offense.
“I’m not going to allow or permit the disparaging or downgrading of the presidential investiture,” he said.
AMLO added that the PAN governors are using provocative terms because of the upcoming elections.
“They are already politicking for next year,” he said, noting that this behavior could also be ”provocation.”
Indeed, the PAN governors are wary of what may come their way a year from now on Sunday, June 20, 2021, as some current polls show that the National Regeneration Movement (Morena) political party as ahead in the states where the PAN will try to hold on to their governor seats.
According to web pollster Demoscopia Digital, the percentages are 34.5 for Morena against 21.8 for the PAN in Baja California Sur.
In Campeche, the numbers are 39.4 percent for Morena versus 20.1 percent for the PAN, and in Colima it’s 36.1 percent for Morena versus 17.1 percent for the PAN.
In Chihuahua, the numbers are 31.4 percent for Morena against 19.3 percent for the PAN.
The total elections for governors in 2021 will be 15, out of which the PAN currently holds the aforementioned four.
For sure you can’t take for granted a poll a year in advance, but, definitely, these numbers and others that suggest that not only will Morena win these four states, but may increase its number of deputy seats in the Chamber of Deputies is worrying for the PAN.
To claim that the PAN has nothing to do with the invisible BOA movement capsized by PAN President Marko Cortés on Tuesday, June 16, since he approached the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) and Citizens’ Movement (MC) to establish a partial alliance in the midterm election in some 75 to 100 districts, is ridiculous. The objective is to win the majority at the Chamber of Deputies and reroute economic and security policies the PAN claims are failing.
Citizens’ Movement President Clemente Castañeda thanked Cortés for the invitation, but said that for the MC, the main concern for now is to focus in downsizing the covid-19 pandemic and to work in tandem with the government while doing it. In addition, Castañeda said that the party is not sure the alternative for the 2021 midterm election is forming political party blocs.
PRD leadership member Ángel Ávila said he could not decide on his own and would have to consult with the rest of the party leaders to determine if forming a bloc with the PAN was a feasible idea.
Cortés said that the PAN is open to going for a party bloc alliance in other states as well.
Mind you, it’s only June 18, 2020, and the PAN is already moving its chess pieces both to keep the states it currently rules and to gain new ground. Again, the official kickoff for this type of movement is Oct. 1, that is, more than three months from now.
Though Cortés is totally contradicting what the National Action Governors Association (GOAN) claimed on Sunday, June 14, in its powwow in Dolores, Hidalgo, in the end, he is the one who will versee all the PAN candidacies for different positions. He will have the final say.
The conclusion is that BOA may not exist as a bloc, but most certainly, the temptation to form one is there since it is clear that should things go awry for the second-leading electoral force in Mexico in the midterm elections, the PAN (a word which means bread in Spanish) will be left with nothing but crumbs.
Should this happen, a more ominous future looms ahead for Mexico: Morena as the one.party system, even within the current democracy.
…June 18, 2020