Photo: Morena

By RICARDO CASTILLO

There’s a lot more than meets the naked eye in the electoral imbroglio involving Mexican Federal Deputies Porfirio Muñoz Ledo and Mario Delgado, both vying for the presidency of the majority National Regeneration Movement (Morena) political party.

Election organizer the National Electoral Institute (INE) called the election “a technical draw.” and is now initiating a third contest through three different independent pollsters. There should be a final result made public by the INE on that poll no later than Sunday, Oct. 25.

Yet the war of words staged by Muñoz Ledo, who claimed to have already won the election, and Delgado points to a deep internal division at Morena, which, of course, has Morena pro-tempore President Alfonso Ramírez Cuellar deeply worried.

In fact, there is a meeting programmed for Thursday, Oct. 15. Ramírez Cuellar will propose that both deputies give up their hopes of being Morena president and leave that function to Senator Citlalli Hernández, who has already been elected secretary general and enjoys widespread approval. Will that be acceptable to Muñoz Ledo or Delgado? Probably not. Actually, Ramírez Cuellar is just trying to tone down the brawl.

Another deep concern within Morena’s ranks is that, after winning the 2018 presidential election along with both houses of Congress, Morena continues to be what its name clearly infers: a “movement” and not a real political party.

In addition, the party presidency signifies getting control of the leadership. The feud between Muñoz Ledo and Delgado is just the tip of the political iceberg that now leads directly to two key personalities in Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) administration. They are Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum and Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard.

Both are trusted government executives now in command of their posts. Nonetheless, it is a well-known fact that Muñoz Ledo is part of the team currently led by Sheinbaum, while Delgado is a faithful and obedient ally of Ebrard.

Just for peeks as to the relation, while the polls were being carried out, Muñoz Ledo launched a ferocious attack against Ebrard and his “crony” Delgado. For sure, Ebrard was listening and immediately raised his voice to deny any involvement in the Morena election. “I’m too busy getting the covid-19 vaccines the nation needs to be involved in partisan elections,” he said.

In addition, Sheinbaum has kept as aloof as possible from the fray between the two candidates, but it has been difficult to hide it.

Ebrard, also a former Mexico City mayor, and Sheinbaum are keenly aware that getting control of Morena and finishing the job of turning it from an “ideological movement” into a nationally organized political party is a must. Whoever gains control of the Morena presidency now will also have earned a huge reward: the presidential candidacy in 2024.

Sheinbaum currently enjoys the support of what Mexican political observers call “the tribes,” namely groups from different leftwing ideologies whose objective is to remain in power.

It is also clear that in organizing the 2021 midterm election in which the Chamber of Deputies will be renewed, Morena, has every chance of winning again full control of the lower chamber of Congress, as well as several of the 15 governor seats at stake in the midterm election.

Thus far, AMLO has positioned himself as no longer being the Morena leader he was until elected president. At best, he is suggesting to the warrying parties to “come to terms” in an agreement. This recommendation was because AMLO knows that, regardless of who wins the Morena presidency, there is bound to be a massive division within the movement.

This possibility should have all the main opposition parties wringing their hands with greed, but the problem is that even in disunity, polls have Morena far ahead to win the midterm election. Other participating parties in the midterm elections have some possibilities, but they are in such disarray that even a splintered Morena may beat them. (You can check for yourself the results of different states published Oct. 14 of four states by pollster factometrica@informacionestrategica.com.mx).

Other recent polls also put Morena ahead of the competition, but in this, the INE final poll is not merely about who wins the Morena presidency, but also about the potential intraparty divide the winner will bring, which may force AMLO to intervene to bring order into his brainchild political movement.

…Oct. 15, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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