Weary Voters Turn to Party of Mexico’s Past, Polls Say

The party that ruled Mexico for decades with an autocratic grip appears to have vaulted back into power after 12 years in opposition, as voters troubled by a bloody drug war and economic malaise gave its presidential candidate, Enrique Peña Nieto, comfortable victory on Sunday, according to preliminary returns and exit polls. The victory was a stunning reversal of fortune for the centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party, known as the PRI, which was thought to be crippled after its defeat in 2000 presidential election ushered in an era of real multiparty democracy here. Buoyed by a strong machine across several states, by the youthful Mr. Peña Nieto’s capture of television spotlight and by voters’ unhappiness with direction of the country, the PRI defeated both the incumbent conservative party and the candidate who nearly beat conservatives last time. But Mexican voters also seemed hesitant to give party total control: PRI-led coalition in congress seemed to have lost seats, it will not have majority control, according to the Monday morning vote count. Mr. Peña’s apparent margin of victory, about 6% with 92% of the vote tallied, also looked to be about half what most polls suggested before election day, with the leftist party enjoying a late surge. “It was a good night for the PRI because they recaptured the presidency but it was not the devastating knockout punch some predicted,” said Eric Olson, analyst with Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. “They will do well to keep that in mind as they begin to form their government and rule”. A “quick count” based on a sampling of returns from across the country, announced by election officials late Sunday night, showed Mr. Peña Nieto with 38 to 39% of the vote and a 7-point lead over Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a former Mexico City mayor who lost narrowly in 2006 and is a member of the left-leaning Party of the Democratic Revolution. By Monday morning, Mr. Peña Nietos’s lead had narrowed slightly, to around 5 percentage points, and Mr. Lopez Obrador had not yet conceded. He said late Sunday night that he would wait for complete vote tallies in coming days. “The final word has not been said”, told supporters. In 2006 Obrador refused for 48 days to accept defeat and led street demonstrations demanding a full recount. The conservative candidate, Vázquez Mota, a former cabinet secretary who sought to become Mexico’s first woman president, was running third with 25 to 26%. Earlier in the evening, exit polls released by several news organizations pointed to similar results, though with a somewhat wider lead for Peña Nieto. He addressed supporters shortly before midnight, repeatedly saying that “Mexico won”, promising to govern openly with accountability, trying to knock down any suggestion he would reach accommodations with criminal groups, as his party has been accused of doing in the past. “There will be no deals or truce with organized crime”. Though Mr. Peña Nieto was declared the winner and President Felipe Calderón telephoned to congratulate him, the preliminary results suggested that he had not won an unequivocal mandate, garnering fewer than half total votes and trailing in some of the most violence-plagued states (…..)

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/02/world/americas/mexico-presidential-election.html

Acerca de ignaciocovelo
Consultor Internacional

3 Responses to Weary Voters Turn to Party of Mexico’s Past, Polls Say

  1. Professor Uziel Nogueira says: For the first time, the 1% rich Mexicans share the same goal as the 99% poor fellow citizens i.,e end the armed conflict between the government and the drug cartels. Mexicans, rich and poor alike, want to retake their country lost to violence and death. A conflicted originated by outgoing Pres Felipe Calderon to please G. W. Bush and deflect attention from his questionable election, won by fraudulent means in the mind of many. Mr. Pena Nieto has an unique opportunity as the newly elected president. First, end the bloody conflict with the drug cartels. This can be done by withdrawing the military from the streets and back to the barracks. Second, put in place a strong program to address the galling income disparity existent in the country. Millions of Mexicans go uneducated and hungry while one of the 1% elite, Carlos Slim, is the richest man in the world.


    The so called drug war cannot be won without addressing two questions. The historical income inequality question and the US drug policy.

    The former can be solved by the Mexican society if the political will exists. The latter requires changes in the US drug policy. Unless the demand side for drugs is properly addressed, there is always someone overseas willing to fill the supply side. Given historical evidence, Mr. Pena Nieto has a mission impossible i.e., convince the US executive and Congress to change drug laws.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/02/world/americas/mexico-presidential-election.html

  2. From Mexico City: Colleague, you make me proud. I could NOT have said this better, at all. Perfectly and succintly said and straight to TWO MAIN points if Mexico REALLY wants to clean up all this mess. You should be writing books. Kudos to you, my friend. Thanks for sharing. Um grande abraco.

  3. (…..) Mexico is in an ambiguous situation: No one has a mandate, and the left is just short of being able to block constitutional reform in Congress. But there are plenty of areas of agreement between the PAN and Peña Nieto, and even between incoming president Peña Nieto and outgoing president Calderón; many dearly needed reforms can be passed. So which will it be? On oil, for example, the left is opposed to changing current law; the PAN and Peña Nieto said during the campaign that they support a constitutional amendment allowing minority private investment in Pemex, the state-owned monopoly. On education, all three parties backed independent teacher evaluation and extending the elementary-school day from four hours to eight. Perhaps most important, PAN and Peña Nieto came out in favor of a major overhaul of Mexico’s thin and tattered social safety net, one that would include a tax-based extension of health care, old-age pensions and unemployment insurance for all Mexicans. This would be Peña Nieto’s most ambitious reform, and he should seek and get PAN support for it. Another issue is trust-busting. Along with reducing inequality, Mexico needs to reduce its concentration of power and wealth through a vigorous push against monopolies — public and private; economic and political; in industry, banking, telecommunications, labor unions and the media. In principle, all three parties oppose some monopolies, but each has its pet monopolies. Peña Nieto will have a tough time taking on the mighty magnates of yesterday and today. He will not easily find willing allies, were he to try. Finally, there is the war against organized crime. Peña Nieto and the PAN candidate called for two important changes in Calderón’s approach: first, concentrating scarce resources on combating violence — kidnapping, extortion, murder rates — instead of focusing on the capture of king pins or interdicting drug shipments to the United States. Both also proposed overhauling Mexico’s police system, ramping up the federal contingent from about 30,000 to some 100,000 officers over three years. It’s the right idea, but not necessarily a ringing endorsement of the efforts by Calderón and the Obama administration to build a federal police force in Mexico (…..)

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/mexicos-election-gives-a-mandate-to-compromise/2012/07/02/gJQA4qBGJW_story.html

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