Here is an overview of the mid-term elections held on June 7th, 2015, and how they fit into the six-year Mexican political cycle.
This election completely replaced the entire 500 seat Cámara de Diputados (Mexican equivalent of U.S. House of Representatives) with completely new representatives. The new representatives are to take office on September 1st.
The Mexican Senate was not up for a vote in this mid-term, as all its members were elected three years ago and the Senate has six-year terms, all beginning and ending together.
Besides the Cámara de Diputados elections, there were gubernatorial elections in nine states, elections for state legislatures in 17 states, and elections for mayors in 300 municipios.
There were ten Mexican political parties running candidates for Congress in the mid-term elections. Here is the percentage of the total vote each received:
1. Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI, President Enrique Peña Nieto’s party) – 29.18% of the total vote.
2. Partido Acción Nacional (PAN) – 21% of the vote.
3. Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD, Mexico’s principal left-wing party) – 10.87%.
4. Movimiento Regeneración Nacional (MORENA, the party of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, or AMLO) – 8.39%.
5. Partido Verde Ecologista de México (PVEM, the Green Party) – 6.91%.
6. Movimiento Ciudadano – 6.09%.
7. Nueva Alianza (PANAL, political vehicle of the national SNTE teachers’ union) – 3.72%.
8. Partido Encuentro Social – 3.32%.
9. Partido del Trabajo, “Labor Party” – 2.84%.
10. Partido Humanista – 2.14%.
In addition, votes for independents formed a total of 0.56% of the vote.
The Green Party and PANAL are both allied to the PRI. That gives the PRI a slim working majority in the Cámara de Diputados. No party has a majority in the Senate.
The PRD lost many votes to the breakaway MORENA party, formed by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO). This probably sets Lopez Obrador up to once again run for president in three years.
As for the two parties that came in #9 and #10, they failed to reach the magic 3% mark, thus making them ineligible to receive government funding. That’s disappointing for them. The Partido del Trabajo was close (2.84%) but not close enough.
In this election, independent candidates were allowed, so that was a big novelty. Political parties are very strong in Mexico and they receive government funding. So even though it’s now legal, it is still very hard to run a successful independent campaign.
In these elections, 121 independent candidates ran for office. Of that total, only six won.
The only independent candidate to win a seat in the Mexican Congress was Manuel Clouthier, son of the late Manuel Clouthier, “Maquio,” the PAN presidential candidate in 1988.
Other non-congressional independents who won included Pedro Kumamoto, who won a seat in the Jalisco state legislature by spending less than US$2,000, and of course the most famous independent, “El Bronco” in Nuevo Leon.
Nuevo Leon is a state in northern Mexico, of which Monterrey is the capital. The governorship was won by independent candidate Jaime Rodríguez Calderon, also known as “El Bronco,” who defeated all the parties. Savvy use of social media was an important tool of el Bronco’s campaign.
It’s worth pointing out that el Bronco himself was in the PRI for 33 years, and only withdrew from the party last year.
So how independent will “El Bronco” be? That remains to be seen, especially when you consider that the same election that brought victory to “El Bronco” elected a state legislature in which the majority of diputados are of the PAN and the PRI. So he’ll have to work with these parties if he wants to get things done.
A bizarre curiousity of the 2015 elections was that of a candidacy that was not even stopped by death.
The candidate was Enrique Hernandez, of the MORENA party, running for mayor of Yurécuaro in the state of Michoacán. Hernandez was shot in a drive-by shooting while delivering a speech on May 14th. Unremoved from the ballot, Hernandez won the election anyway on June 7th.
I assume they’re finding a live person to take his place.
By Allan Wall.
Allan Wall, an educator, resided in Mexico for many years. His website is located at http://www.allanwall.info
NOTE: Mr. Wall was recently the guest of Silvio Canto, Jr., on his “Canto Talk” radio show, along with Fausta Rodriguez Wertz. They discussed the recent Mexican mid-term elections as well as other topics. To listen click here.
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