Mexico news Sept.10
Posted by The Generals on September 16, 2012, 1:01 pm
Subject: Mexico News DAILY September 10, 2012 |
Mexico’s López Obrador changes tack
Development: On 9 September Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the defeated presidential candidate for the leftist coalition Movimiento Progresista formally quit the Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD, the senior partner in Movimiento Progresista) to concentrate on his own political movement, Movimiento de Renovación Nacional (Morena).
Significance: After 23 years of PRD militancy, López Obrador’s announcement came as a surprise. The twice PRD presidential candidate still enjoys significant support within the party: the PRD party leadership (elected in March 2011) are all radical leftists closely identified with López Obrador.
However, the PRD, which did well in the congressional election in July, may have decided to distance itself from the divisive López Obrador in order to mount a more effective political opposition to the incoming government led by the traditional Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI). Moderates within the PRD and Movimiento Progresista may now have an opportunity to extend their political influence.
López Obrador’s announcement is a fillip for President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto.
• López Obrador made his announcement at a rally in Mexico City’s main Zócalo square, where he had summoned his followers to launch a civil disobedience campaign in protest at the presidential election results. His objective now is to make Morena, which he created to support his first presidential bid in 2006, into a fully-fledged political party.
• López Obrador insisted that his departure from the PRD was not a “rupture” but took place under “the best of terms”. However, no one from the PRD national leadership or even from the local Mexico City leadership was present when he made the announcement.
• The previous day (8 September), the PRD leadership held a conference in Mexico City with its newly elected congressional representatives and governors. Aferwards, it issued a statement declaring that the party would “respect…the rule of law”, in reference to the electoral authorities’ dismissal last week of López Obrador’s legal challenge to the presidential results. (Notably, López Obrador did not challenge the congressional results).
• The fears within the PRD that López Obrador’s intransigence would split the party will now be replaced by concerns that a new leftist political party will weaken popular support both for the party itself and the wider Movimiento Progresista.
• However, the head of the PRD, Jesús Zambrano, along with his Movimiento Progresista counterparts from the Partido del Trabajo (PT) and Movimiento Ciudadano, expressed their support for López Obrador’s decision and said they would welcome a new party on the Left. The PT's president, Alberto Anaya, who attended the rally in the Zócalo, said his party would continue to collaborate with López Obrador and he called on Mexico’s Left to remain united.
• Meanwhile the PRD gave the first signs of the antagonistic role it intends to play in congress. Silvano Aureoles, who coordinates the PRD bench, said the party would not back the labour reform proposal submitted last week by President Felipe Calderón. Aureoles made his comment after the president of Calderón’s Partido Acción Nacional (PAN), Gustavo Madero, called on all political parties to back the proposal. The PAN and the PRI, which now has a small majority in congress, are looking to establish a working relationship to push through some of the structural reforms that both consider necessary for the country.
• Peña Nieto has effectively assumed his role as president-elect. Following López Obrador’s announcement, he announced plans to meet 300 of Mexico’s most influential social and political leaders today (10 September) at Mexico’s national anthropology museum, after which he will unveil those initiatives that he intends to submit to congress upon taking office on 1 December.
Pointer: Peña Nieto’s team also confirmed details of a Latin American tour between 17 and 24 September. Peña Nieto will meet the presidents of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama at an event in Guatemala to discuss migration, security and economic development issues. He will then continue to Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Peru where talks on bilateral trade promotion will dominate the agenda. The addition of Peru comes after President Calderón held a bilateral meeting with President Ollanta Humala on the margins of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) forum held this weekend (8-9 September) in Vladivostok, Russia.
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