By MARK LORENZANA
Senator Claudia Ruiz Massieu Salinas, former president of the centralist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) — who also served as secretary of foreign affairs and secretary of tourism under former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto — is open to running for the presidency of Mexico in 2024 to challenge the ruling party, Mexican President Andrés Manuel Obrador’s (AMLO) leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena).
Massieu Salinas, in an interview with journalist René Delgado for his program “EntreDichos” of El Financiero/Bloomberg, said that she would consider becoming the standard bearer of the opposition for the Mexican general presidential elections in 2024. Currently, the opposition — the Va por México coalition — is an electoral alliance composed of three political parties: the PRI, the conservative National Action Party (PAN) and the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD).
In the interview, Massieu Salinas also enjoined the leaders of the PAN and the PRD — Marko Cortés and Jesús Zambrano, respectively — to establish clear rules on the selection process of the presidential candidate of the Va por México coalition. In addition, the senator reminded Mexicans that, starting August 2023, the PAN and PRD leaders would be dealing with a new PRI president after current leader Alejandro Moreno steps down from his post. Massieu Salinas likewise criticized Moreno for making commitments beyond his mandate.
In June of this year, former presidents of the PRI demanded the resignation of Moreno after the party’s widespread defeat in the June 5 gubernatorial elections. Moreno is also currently facing an investigation by Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office (FGR) and the Campeche Prosecutor’s Office for the alleged crimes of Illicit enrichment, tax fraud and money laundering.
In the beginning of the interview with Delgado, Massieu Salinas admitted that the past several years have been difficult for the PRI, and that the party must undergo an internal evaluation on how to organize, “to present ourselves to the citizens and to develop a relationship with the Mexican people.”
“It’s very different now than it was six, eight, 12 years ago,” the senator said. “We have fewer federal deputies. We have fewer senators of the republic. Fewer mayors. Which we have not experienced before. We have the political responsibility to act whatever the result of the election is. The losses and triumphs of a political party cannot be attributed to one single person. We have to look at the other factors, but without a doubt, the political responsibility is on the leaders.”
Massieu Salinas also emphasized that the opposition coalition Va por México “cannot only be an alliance and a project of three leaders,” and added that “we have to add much more voices from the other different parties, so we can be more inclusive and connect more with the citizenry.”
“It is urgent that the coalition move toward an inclusive and plural process, not only of the three parties, but a broader assembly, to build a project that we are going to present to the public,” Massieu Salinas said. “It seems vital to me to put before the Mexicans a project different from the one that is being carried out today by Morena, something that we do not share and believe in.”
Massieu Salinas suggested that a possible method for the selection of the Va por México coalition candidate could be one similar to that of the primaries held in the United States. She also pointed out that if a selection process is identified and that if there are clear rules, “it would be something that I would consider, of course, I would consider being the candidate of the opposition coalition for the presidency in 2024.”