Katie Putnam, The Mexico Institute’s Elections Guide, 9/19/2011
The PAN candidates have agreed to a debate, as PRD contender and Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard announces a cabinet shuffle and PRI frontrunner Enrique Peña Nieto’s successor is sworn in in the State of Mexico. The IFE determined its electoral calendar for the upcoming year.
Cordero, who left his post as Treasury Secretary on September 9th, has been actively campaigning, calling on the PAN to show more determination against the PRI and announcing he would ask current Public Secretary Secretary Genaro García Luna to stay on in his cabinet if he is elected in 2012.
Emilio González is still interested in the race, hoping he might benefit from another candidate’s defection to boost his poll numbers.
Aside from the jostling among the potential candidates, the party continues to struggle against the perception of its limited success in the battle against organized crime. Attendance numbers were down at President Felipe Calderón’s grito, the Independence Day celebration, in part due to security concerns. Several other local celebrations were cancelled altogether for the same reason; Cuidad Juárez, however, after forgoing its celebration last year, did hold its grito this year.
Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard was active this week, announcing his conviction that Mexico would start on a new path after the 2012 elections. He made some adjustments to his cabinet in anticipation of his presidential run, and also dismissed accusations that he agreed to the construction of a media tower in exchange for the media’s support in the electoral contest.
The Labor Party (PT) was fined almost 500,000 pesos ($37,000 USD) by the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) for turning over its designated TV spots to Andrés Manuel López Obrador in 2008.
The Atlanic Monthly has just published a profile on Enrique Peña Nieto, the former governor of the State of Mexico and frontrunner amongst current presidential candidates, with the tagline: “a good-looking governor seeks to make Mexican voters forget the corrupt past of their old ruling party.” It provides an interesting overview of his political formation and record as governor, as well as criticisms of his candidacy.
His successor Eruviel Ávila, was sworn in as governor of the State of Mexico on September 15, in a ceremony that Milenio called more of an “imperial goodbye” for Peña Nieto. The outgoing governor then gave his last grito for Independence Day.
There were several stories surrounding the Federal Electoral Institute this past week. President Calderón and the Secretary of Government (Segob) called on Congress to name and approve the three remaining IFE counselors so that the electoral body can operate at full capacity; and called on Congress to pass President Calderón’s proposed political reforms. Calderón added that “democracy is at risk,” so the IFE must work tirelessly to guarantee the fairness of upcoming elections. IFE President Leonardo Valdés told the press that the 2012 elections would be the “greatest in history.” The Institute also determined the electoral calendar for 2012.
Secondly, historian and Mexico Institute Board Member Enrique Krauze is pessimistic about the impact of the 2012 elections on economic growth in Mexico.
Lastly, for more background on the security situation, check out the just-released Organized Crime in Central America: The Northern Triangle, an excellent piece on rule of law in Mexico and Central America by the Wilson Center’s Cynthia Arnson and Eric Olson.