Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Friday, June 10, 2016

A harbinger of PRI's future?

Are mid-term elections a predictor of future political results? Watch Mexico and see.

Major election losses could threaten ruling party's grip on Mexican presidency
Mexico’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party was headed toward a crushing setback in local elections, according to nearly complete vote tallies…

Known as the PRI, the party came into the elections Sunday holding nine of the 12 governor seats that were up for grabs. It is set to come away with only five of those seats…

Its chief rival, the conservative National Action Party, or PAN, appears to have won the governor’s offices in the other seven states, including three in a strategic alliance with the left-leaning Democratic Revolution Party…

The results were widely viewed as a broad rejection of the PRI at a time when polls show that its standard-bearer, President Enrique Peña Nieto, is suffering from low approval ratings because of a sluggish economy and widespread discontent with violence and corruption.

The PRI, which emerged from the tumult of the Mexican Revolution in the early 20th century, ruled the country for decades until it began to suffer defeats in local elections and then lost the presidency in 2000 to the PAN.

Peña Nieto won back the presidency for the PRI in 2012. But observers said Sunday’s results do not bode well for the PRI in the presidential balloting scheduled for 2018…

However, others pointed out that Sunday’s elections largely reflected the realities in certain states, and may not be direct harbingers for the 2018 presidential voting…

Even after Sunday’s setbacks, the PRI remains the major political force in the national legislature and holds governor’s seats in at least 16 of the country’s 31 states and the federal district of Mexico City, far more than any other party. And the PRI retains an unrivaled electoral machine capable of bringing out the vote, sometimes in exchange for gifts, cash or jobs…

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