By ALEJANDRO ENVILA FISHER
The political opposition in Mexico City, and particularly the conservative National Action Party (PAN), hopes to have the 2024 election in the bag.
The party’s optimistic calculation is based on the overwhelming success it enjoyed in the 2021 citywide election and is reinforced by the fact that, since then, leftist President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has not relented in his verbal barrage on the capital’s middle class, toward whom he has consistently vented his anger caused by the poor performance and results of Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum and her inept team.
However, the capital’s PAN, which will have a major hand in the selection of the candidate for any alliance, has more problems than it is willing to admit.
With two pre-candidates openly interested in the candidacy — first, Senator Xóchitl Gálvez, and now Senator Kenia López, in addition to a third who has not been ruled out, Federal Deputy Lía Limón — the party is burdened with problems that that have long been festering.
One is the corruption scandal that is focused the real leader of the PAN in the capital: parliamentary leader Jorge Romero Herrera, who has been tagged as the head of the city’s Real Estate Cartel operating in San Lázaro, and his entire close circle.
Another problem was the shameful reaction of the father of the head of the Miguel Hidalgo municipality, Mauricio Tabe, to the closure of his business, which led to a nationwide scandal. And a third setback for the party has been the disgraceful behavior of Cuauhtémoc Mayor Sandra Cuevas, who allegedly held police officers against their will and has been linked to possible corruption.
Because the PAN has refused to stand up and condemn its own party members, it has been spattered by the dirt that all this has dredged up.
Also of consequence are additional scandals in the offing, and the do-nothing administration of Limon when she served in Álvaro Obregón. When she was injured in an unfortunate act of repression against opposition mayors outside the Mexico City Congress, her injured and bloody face became the poster of political intolerance under Sheinbaum, but she did not know how to use that fame to her own advantage, so her 15 minutes of glory soon passed.
Another great disappointment for the capital’s PAN has been Tlálpan Mayor Alfa González who has also accomplished little in her year in office.
As for Kenya López, she is little more than a hyperactive and self-promoting politician who has cashed in on the left’s MO of polarization, focusing on divisions over education.
In the end, the PAN’s victory in the next election is not that certain. The party is betting on the capital’s middle class’s discontent with López Obrador to bag a win.
But to ensure that it gets a victory, it will need to take a long, hard look at its own scandals and to find a charismatic, solid and well-armored party member to face the mud war that the 2024 campaign promised to be.