Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

Mexico president’s party hits setback in key state

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on April 12, 2011

by Dave Graham for Reuters, April 10th, 2011.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s conservatives suffered a setback on Sunday when they failed to seal an alliance that could have dented the chances of the main opposition party to retake the presidency in 2012.

The left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) rejected an offer to join Calderon’s National Action Party (PAN) in a key state election, a ploy that has brought success against the party that has traditionally dominated Mexico.

Though now in opposition, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) is leading national opinion polls. It hopes a July 3 vote in the state of Mexico, adjoining the capital and the largest by population, will serve as a springboard for a return to power in the country it ruled for over 70 years until 2000.

Had the PAN and PRD joined forces, repeating a tactic employed in other state elections, analysts said it would have raised the chance of ejecting the PRI from Mexico state for the first time, and undermined its momentum in national polls.

“If we’d got the alliance, we’d have been a step closer to defeating the PRI,” Manuel Camacho, a former Mexican foreign minister who split with the PRI in the 1990s and later served as a PRD congressman, told Reuters.

“But this story isn’t over yet,” he added. “It’s a tactical victory for the PRI, but not a strategic one.” (continue reading… )

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