Friday, July 14, 2006

Mexico: PRI Falling Apart

I've commented before that the likeliest partner for Calderon's new government would be the PRI. This is rather ironic, since the PRI ran the country for 71 years and few imagined it could fall into third-place status so quickly.

However, the PRI yesterday expelled its former Secretary General, Elba Esther Gordillo. Gordillo had resigned from her party leadership post last year over a bitter dispute with the PRI's nominee for President, Roberto Madrazo. She subsequently created the 'New Alliance' which won a small percentage of the vote on election day. It also seems that she encouraged her supporters to back Calderon for President, potentially handing Calderon the win.

Yesterday the PRI expelled her (article in Spanish). This seems to mark the official kick-off of the anticipated civil war within what's left of the PRI, and analysts and sources are talking about its dissolution. Notably, three PRI governors are calling the expulsion a great mistake, and are saying that they will stay within the party and fight against those who are actually responsible for the beating the PRI took on July 2. They name several PRI leaders in Congress, whom they identify as having betrayed Roberto Madrazo.

I can't see this as anything other than an important opportunity for Calderon. If he can work with factions in the PRI, and take castoffs from that party, he can expand his influence in the Congress. It could give an important boost to the free-market reforms that Mexico needs.

I've also included a cartoon from today's El Universal. It shows AMLO as Superman, trying to lift up a supporter whose sign says 'AMLO Won,' but pinned down by 'Calderon's advantage.'

Back to the top.

No comments: