Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Friday, February 10, 2012

Historic candidate

It would be historic if a woman was nominated as a major party presidential candidate in the USA. It's even more historic in Mexico, renowned for machismo.

[Thanks to Blanca Facundo, who teaches in Puerto Rico, for pointing me at the Washington Post article.]

Ruling Party in Mexico Picks Woman as Candidate
The race to pick Mexico’s next president took a historic turn Sunday night, with the ruling party picking a woman, the first from a major party, as its candidate to hold off a strong push from the largest opposition party to reclaim the post it had held for more than seven decades.

The candidate, Josefina Vázquez Mota, triumphed over two others in the primary of the conservative National Action Party…

Ms. Vázquez Mota, 51, will compete with two other major party candidates selected in December. Enrique Peña Nieto, 45, the former governor of Mexico State, is the front-runner in polls and is trying to return his party, the centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party, known as the P.R.I., to power it lost in 2000 after ruling with an autocratic hand for most of the 20th century.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, 59, representing the leftist Democratic Revolutionary Party, lost a narrow race to Mr. Calderón in 2006 and is his party’s standard-bearer again.

Ms. Vázquez Mota exulted in her victory, winning far more than the necessary votes to avoid a runoff and basking in the potential to become the first woman president here…

Women voters have been playing a bigger role in recent presidential elections, leading many pundits to speculate Mexico is poised to follow other Latin American countries, including Brazil, Argentina, Costa Rica and others, in electing a woman.

Still, her association with Mr. Calderón… and the drug war may prove a drag on her popularity, and the other contenders have their advantages…

3 Mexican presidential hopefuls vie to lead a nation weary of politics
With a decisive primary victory Sunday night, Josefina Vazquez Mota became the first woman to represent a major party in the Mexican presidential election…

Still, even with Vazquez Mota, many Mexicans see the July 1 election as a race among flawed choices: the popular former mayor of Mexico City with a messianic self-regard; a telegenic leading man who wrote a book but has been vague about which books he has read; and a perky, gal-next-door type who does a lot of smiling but has been blank on specifics…
[The article goes on to offer short profiles of the three candidates.]
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