PRI President Alejandro Moreno announcing the Va Por México coalition. Photo: PRI

By KELIN DILLON

Mexico’s centralist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) and conservative National Action Party (PAN) formalized a political alliance by signing a joint coalition on Wednesday, Dec. 23.

The Va Por México (Going for Mexico) alliance was officially announced by leader of the PAN’s Marko Cortés, the PRI’s Alejandro Moreno and a founding member of the PRD, Jesús Zambrano, in a virtual conference on the same day.

Cortés said the union of the parties did not come as an easy decision, since the PRI and the PAN had been natural rivals in Mexico throughout the lifespan of the two parties. However, Cortés did note that the parties had worked together before in the 1990’s on reforms that helped to democratize the country.

The Va Por México coalition comes in an effort to limit the power of the National Regeneration Movement (Morena), the party currently in control of the Mexican government under President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO). 

Moreno criticized Morena’s mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic in Mexico, saying the party’s incompetence led to the more than 118,000 covid-related deaths. The PRI leader further said he could not allow Mexico to suffer the consequences of inadequate and inexperienced leadership for any longer, resulting in the multiparty union.

The PRI, PRD and PAN hope joining forces will help them take back the majority in congress from Morena in the upcoming elections next summer. A total of 160 out of 300 federal districts will be up for reelection in June 2021, including the entire House of Deputies.

Ricardo Monreal Ávila, leader of the Morena majority in the Senate and namesake of the controversial Monreal Law, said the alliance of his party’s opponents was “unimaginable,” but “understandable.”

AMLO has continually been critical of the PRI, PRD and PAN’s actions against him, having previously called the union between the opposition parties an “unholy alliance.” 

The Mexican president spoke out against the Va Por México coalition during his press conference on the morning of Wednesday, Dec. 23.

What matters most to (Va Por México) is taking the budget away from us, and, to put it more clearly, taking the budget away from the poor,” said López Obrador.

AMLO alleged that the PRI, PAN and PRD union was an effort to defend the privileges Mexico’s rich population received under pre-Morena conservative administrations, specifically mentioning tax evasion. 

It is going to be a very interesting choice because the people of Mexico are going to decide what they want: more of the same, setbacks or fur us to move on, and no one from the government can intervene,” he said in regards to the upcoming congressional elections.

AMLO’s insistence on lack of government interference in next summer’s elections were somewhat ironic, since the Mexican president himself had previously received a warning from the National Electoral Institute (INE) for his own interference in public elections. The warning has since been struck down in a controversial move by the Mexican courts.

Equally ironic is the fact that on Wednesday, the very same day that AMLO criticized the PRI, PAN and PRD for forming an alliance, Morena officially aligned itself with two smaller parties, the Labor Party (PT) and the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM), to create its own political coalition for the 2021 midterm elections under the banner of “Juntos Hacemos Historias” (“Together We Will Make History”).

Apparently not unaware of the inherent paradox, Morena President Mario Delgado tried to underscore the difference between the two political coalitions.

“This (the Morena-PT-PVEM) alliance is based on principles and values and has as its sole objective the insurance of a long life for the country’s Fourth Transformation,” Delgado said during the press conference to announce the affiliation.

The INE announced that the respective political parties will have to choose their official candidates for the upcoming elections by Jan. 31, 2021.

The battle between the Juntos Hacemos Historias and the Va Por México coalitions will come to a head during the aforementioned congressional elections on June 6, 2021, when the Mexican public will decide who will take control of the government.

…Dec. 24, 2020

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