Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is a busy fella with a lot on his mind. On one hand he’s struggling to create economic growth domestically with a world economy that just can’t get off the shneid, and on the other, the state of Michoacan has been taken over by gangs of gun-toting farmers. Not good. So it’s got to come as a relief to Mr. Peña that he doesn’t have to worry about undermining opposition political parties, because that task has been embraced with zeal by the opposition parties themselves. It is a moment when they could be rallying the troops to put all their strength into blocking the president’s ambitious reform drive, or at least wringing some concessions out of the ruling PRI. But instead, they are tearing themselves limb from limb, leaving Peña to ask, à la Ed Koch, “How’m I doin’?” Continue reading Peña fiddles merry tune while opposition burns
Some developments meriting commentary took place last week in the preliminary campaigns for next year’s Mexican presidential election. We laid out the general pre-candidacy landscape in this post, for anyone joining us mid-program.
First in the PAN: Since we last wrote on this topic two weeks ago, Josefina Vázquez Mota’s stock has clearly risen. President Felipe Calderón spoke favorably of his former Education Secretary at an event following the official launch of her campaign for the nomination, prompting speculation that he was not averse to an eventual Vázquez Mota candidacy. This was considered to be a signal of some significance, as Calderón’s personal preferred candidate is believed to be Ernesto Cordero. For his part, Cordero wasted no time in grabbing back the spotlight by resigning as Finance Secretary on September 9 in order to formally launch his own drive for the PAN nomination. The top three contenders Vázquez Mota, Cordero and Senator Santiago Creel have stepped up their campaigns in recent days and were further solidified as the front runners when Education Secretary Alonso Lujambio dropped out of the race on August 29. While Jalisco Governor Emilio González Márquez is still talking up his campaign, the rumor mill has him tabbed as the next casualty, possibly following the Panamerican Games to be held in Guadalajara October 14 – 30 [UPDATE: González Márquez officially dropped out of the race on September 22]. The coming weeks should be interesting for PAN-watchers, as the top three pre-candidates make moves to try to build buzz and momentum. [Permalink inexplicably out of order, please go here for the rest of this post] Continue reading Update on Mexico’s 2012 presidential election campaign