Tag Archives: Enrique Peña Nieto

Mexico’s Midterm Elections Likely to Reflect President’s Woes

6/5/15 Wall Street Journal

Mexico’s midterm elections Sunday are shaping up as a referendum on President Enrique Peña Nieto, whose early popularity for passing ambitious measures to lift the economy has been undercut by a resurgence in gang violence and corruption scandals.

Most pre-election polls suggest the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, with the help of coalition partners, could retain its scant majority in the 500-seat lower house of Congress. But polls also show Mr. Peña Nieto’s party faces strong challenges in seven of nine state governorships at stake.

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A Fragmented Political Landscape

Andrew SeleeBy Andrew Selee

It’s too early to know the full impact of yesterday’s elections in Mexico, but there is no question that these were far more momentous than midterm elections usually are, with profound short-term and long-term consequences for the future of Mexico’s political system.  Here are four quick takeaways on the implications of the results:

* The political landscape in Mexico is now more fragmented than ever before with no single party towering over the others.  Mexico has long been a political system based on three strong parties and a few smaller ones.  Now there are at least five, if not more, that appear to have a significant base of support.  The victory of an independent candidate in Nuevo Leon, Mexico’s most economically important state, sets a very important precedent that will decentralize the political system even more in the future and allow citizens to organize outside the traditional parties.

* It was a mixed night for President Enrique Pena Nieto and the PRI.  Although the PRI appears to have won the largest number of votes for Congress and state governors, the party won less than 30 percent of the vote, appears to have lost a few crucial governors’ races that it had expected to win (Nuevo Leon, Queretaro, and Michoacan), and will have to piece together a working majority in the Congress with the Green Party, the New Alliance Party, and perhaps a few others on key votes.  Of course, it’s not unusual for the incumbent party to lose ground in the midterm elections (this is the fourth straight time it’s happened), but the PRI seemed to be in a particularly strong position going into this election and expected to do much better.  This election is hardly a repudiation of Pena Nieto’s government — which will likely be able to move forward with its reform agenda in Congress — but it’s certainly not a ringing endorsement either.

* The PAN came in as the second strongest party, though it received only a fifth of the votes, and the left divided like never before among various parties.  Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s party, Morena, made a very respectable showing against the PRD, probably winning five of Mexico City’s delegations (municipalities) and presenting a strong challenge to the PRD in the bastion of the left.

* The elections were actually carried out in relative peace, despite attempts to disrupt them in three states in the south.  However, an unusually high number of voters (roughly five percent) appear to have left their ballots blank in protest against all of the political parties.

In the next few hours, we will know more about how the main parties ended up and who will govern each state, but clearly this is an election that has shaken the foundations of Mexico’s political system like few others.

Andrew Selee is the Executive Vice President of the Wilson Center and Senior Advisor to the Mexico Institute.

EVENT: Mexico’s Midterm Elections and the Peña Nieto Administration

When: May 18, 2015 // 9:30am11:00am

Where: 6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

Register here: http://bit.ly/1zTBtSe

Slide1

The Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute is pleased to invite you to an event on Mexico’s 2015 midterm elections. On June 7, 2015, more than 86 million Mexicans will have the opportunity to elect 500 federal deputies, 17 state-level legislatures, 9 governors, and more than 300 mayors. This new cohort of legislators will replace the group that approved the major reforms proposed by President Enrique Peña Nieto during the first year of his administration. The new Chamber of Deputies will be crucial for the second half of Peña Nieto’s term in office; finding room for negotiation may prove increasingly difficult as the presidential succession nears.

These elections represent a battle in which the PRI seeks to stay strong despite the President’s low approval ratings. Meanwhile, the PAN and the PRD are trying to overcome internal divisions and emerge stronger. The PRD’s internal challenges became external with the recent founding of MORENA, led by Andrés Manuel López Obrador, which is emerging as a viable option for voters on the left. In fact, MORENA will be competing head to head with the Green Party (PVEM) to be the fourth national political force.

Speakers

Denise Dresser
Political Analyst and Professor, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México

Luis Carlos Ugalde
Director General, Integralia Consultores

Moderator

Duncan Wood
Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

Anger could derail Mexico’s economic recovery

By Business Insider India 05/07/15

Revulsion with the government of Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto over pervasive corruption and insecurity has become widespread in Mexico.

That sentiment could not only have consequences for Pena Nieto at the ballot box next month, but could also undermine the recovery of Latin America’s second-largest economy.

Pena Nieto entered office in 2012 promising reforms aimed at making the Mexican economy more dynamic and appealing to foreign investment. His platform was a departure from the emphasis of his predecessors on reducing violence and pursuing the drug war.

But the alleged corruption of Pena Nieto and other senior officials,escalating violence throughout the country, and dissatisfaction with many federal policies could undermine the efforts of his governing party, the center-right PRI, to maintain or expand its parliamentary advantage – and thus its ability to enact reforms – when Mexicans vote in national and local legislative elections on June 7.

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Mexico’s Election Watchdog Orders Ads Criticizing President to Be Pulled

By Wall Street Journal, 04/15/15

MEXICO CITY—Mexico’s elections watchdog has ordered that an opposition political party’s TV and radio ads accusing President Enrique Peña Nieto of misspending taxpayers’ money be pulled from the airwaves for slandering the president, raising concerns about the ability of political parties to criticize the government.

The National Electoral Institute said in a statement Tuesday that the advertisements from the conservative National Action Party, or PAN, contained “slanderous messages” and gave TV and radio companies 24 hours to stop running the spots.

The TV ads criticize the president for allegedly taking along some 200 people with him as part of the official Mexican delegation during a March state visit to the U.K.

The institute said that Mr. Peña Nieto complained that the ads “discredit and disqualify” the executive without offering “any proof.”

During the March visit, Mexico’s most influential newspaper, Reforma, reported that the Mexican delegation totaled some 200 people, including cabinet members, politicians, businessmen and academics. It said the delegation was far larger than previous Mexican state visits.

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