It’s 2018, which means it’s time for another Mexican presidential election.
The Mexican presidential term lasts six years, with no reelection. The last election, won by current President Enrique Peña Nieto, was held in 2012. So, in 2018 it’s time for another. It should be interesting.
The actual voting is scheduled for July 1st.
There are three major candidates, each heading up coalitions of three parties. In addition, there are three independent candidates.
The candidates supported by parties are:
ANDRES MANUEL LOPEZ OBRADOR (AMLO) is the candidate of the party he himself founded, MORENA (Movimiento Regeneración Nacional) in coalition with Partido del Trabajo, the Labor Party (PT), and PES (Partido Encuentro Social). The official name of the coalition is Juntos haremos historia (Together we will make History). AMLO has served as mayor of Mexico City, and he was the runner-up in the past two presidential elections (2006 and 2012).
JOSE ANTONIO MEADE KURIBRENA of the PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional), the party of current President Peña Nieto. The PRI is in coalition with two smaller parties: the Green Party (Partido Verde Ecologista de México), and the Partido Nueva Alianza, the PNA or PANAL. Meade has held several cabinet posts in the past: Foreign Minister, Secretary of Social Development, Secretary of Energy, and Secretary of Finance and Public Credit. The official name of Meade’s coalition is Todos por México (Everybody for Mexico).
RICARDO ANAYA CORTES of the PAN (Partido Acción Nacional), in coalition with the leftist PRD (Partido de la Revolución Democrática) and the smaller Movimiento Ciudadano (Citizen Movement). This coalition is called Por México al Frente (For Mexico to the Front). Anaya was formerly the leader of the PAN.
The party coalitions are interesting. By Mexican standards, PAN is considered a right-wing party, PRI middle of the road, and the PRD a left-wing party. But this election pits the middle of the road PRI against a coalition of the right-wing PAN and the left-wing PRD, with the other coalition headed up by PRD-defector AMLO and his new MORENA party.
MORENA, in turn, has an alliance with the PT (Labor Party), which has its roots among Mexican Maoist (!) activists, and with the PES (Partido Encuentro Social), a party founded by evangelical Christians.
You can’t say that Mexican politics don’t have some interesting coalitions!
Besides the party candidates, there are the independent candidates
1. MARGARITA ESTER ZAVALA GOMEZ del CAMPO de CALDERON is the wife of former president Felipe Calderon. She recently separated from the PAN and is running as an independent.
2. JAIME HELIODORO RODRIGUEZ CALDERON, better known as “El Bronco.” After decades as a PRI politician, El Bronco ran and won as an independent for the governorship of Nuevo Leon in 2015, completing his term in December of 2017.
3. ARMANDO RIOS PITER. See photo here. From the state of Guerrero, Rios Piter was formerly a politician in the PRD, which he left in 2017.
It’s interesting that of the three independent candidates, one (Margarita Zavala) is formerly of the PAN, another (el Bronco) is formerly of the PRI, and the other (Rios Piter) is formerly of the PRD.
According to a February 18th Consulta Mitofsky electoral preference poll, AMLO had 27.1%, Anaya had 22.3%, Meade had 18.0%, and the three independent candidates garnered a total of 8% for the three of them together. Note that the totals do not add up to 100%.
The Mexican Congress
Besides the presidential election, there are Mexican congressional elections.
Like the U.S. Congress, the Mexican Congress is bicameral, with two chambers, the Senado (Senate) and Cámara de Diputados (Chamber of Deputies, equivalent of the U.S. House of Representatives).
The U.S. Congress has 100 senators (two for each state) and 435 representatives, while the Mexican Congress has 128 senadores and 500 diputados.
Moreover, what is different about this election is that, for the first time since the 1920s, senators and representatives will be eligible to stand for reelection. That should be interesting.
For a description of the Mexican electoral system see my article entitled Elections in Mexico and the US: Comparisons and Contrasts, which is still accurate except for the part about congressional reelection, which begins this year.
By Allan Wall
Allan Wall, an educator, resided in Mexico for many years. His website is located at http://www.allanwall.info.
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