Elections in EdoMéx: The Beginning of the End for the PRI


Unsuccessful PRI gubernatorial candidate for the State of Mexico Alejandra del Moral. Photo: Google


The gubernatorial election results in Mexico’s most populous state on Sunday, June 4, not only served as a prelude to what can be expected in the 2024 presidential elections, but also marked a key moment in the reconfiguration of the country’s political-partisan map and a forecast of the dubious future of the nation’s once-mighty, centralist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

The PRI in the State of Mexico (EdoMéx) — one of the party’s last great stalwarts of power as the single-party system eroded to multipartisan alternative — was supposed to adapt and reflect modern political sentiments and opposition values as the country is now veering back toward a one-party mentality under the current autocratic regime of leftist President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO).

It was hoped that those key democratic values and a thirst for pluralism would have more sway than the egocentric interests of an archaic, multimillion-dollar and politically decadent political class that had ruled in the State of Mexico for nearly a century.

And it was hoped that that a progressive new PRI would balance out the effects of outgoing EdoMéx Governor Alfredo del Mazo’s unscrupulous negotiations with AMLO’s National Regeneration Movement (Morena) party to abandon the party’s young and energetic gubernatorial candidate Alejandra del Moral in exchange for his own impunity in the form of a future ambassadorial posting or even an invitation to join Morena.

But things didn’t work out that way.

Despite her very dignified role as a candidate and a dynamic campaign based on popular values, Del Moral could not overcome the effects of Del Mazo’s abandonment, nor the poor support of the PRI’s national leader, Alejandro Moreno, who was likewise more interested in his own political future than that of the party.

And there was also another factor that led to Del Moral’s defeat against Morena’s questionable candidate Delfina Gómez (who, during her tenure as mayor of the EdoMéx city of Texcoco was proven to have pocketed 10 percent of the monthly salaries of 472 municipal workers as a “political contribution fee,” and then, under AMLO, as secretary of public education, managed to “misplace” nearly 830 million pesos in government resources meant to help underprivileged students).

The conservative National Action Party (PAN), which was supposed to be in coalition with the PRI and the left-leaning Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) in backing Del Moral’s bid for the EdoMéx governorship, also assumed a lukewarm attitude, and PAN leader Marko Cortés was too busy with his own agenda to bother to rally voters for her. ​

Just as disappointing, Del Moral, who had trusted the operations of Mexican billionaire Claudio X. Gonzalez to bring in middle-class and corporate votes, was left hanging in the lurch.

The end result is that Del Moral lost the election to Gómez by a difference of more than 8 percent, and the State of Mexico will now be led by one of the country’s most notorious politicians.

Del Moral fought the good fight, but it was not enough, and those who were supposed to be her allies turned their back on her when push came to shove.

The powerful, rich families of EdoMéx will no doubt eventually pay the price for their indifference, but, for now, their fortunes are intact and they can continue to enjoy the good life in what is probably Mexico’s richest state.

In the end, however, their money and political influence will erode and they will be forced to either kowtow to the likes of Delfina Gómez and her crooked cohorts or migrate to new political terrains, mainly the PAN, and act that will brings with it its own set of problems.

Morena’s goal is to obliterate the historic influence of the PRI in EdoMéx and replace it with a new single-party prepotency under the leftist banner of the National Regeneration Movement. 

The state’s financial elite, who once benefited under the nefarious rule of the likes of former EdoMéx Governor and former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto of the PRI, will surely change their political stripes in order to court the same privileges from Gómez and her band of reprobates because, after all, they know full well which side of their bread is buttered.

It won’t take long for that new political scenario to play out in the State of Mexico.

ALEJANDRO ENVILA FISHER is a lawyer and professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico’s (UNAM) School of Law. He directed the political magazine Cambio and Radio Capital for 15 years. He also founded and directed GreenTV, a cable television channel specializing in sustainability and the environment, for five years. He has been a commentator and host for various radio and television shows and has written political columns for the newspapers El Día and Unomásuno, in addition to publishing articles in more than 20 regional newspapers in Mexico since 1995. He is the author of the books “One Hundred Names of the Mexican Transition,” “Chimalhuacán, the Empire of La Loba” and “Chimalhuacán, from Lost City to Model Municipality.”

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