Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Friday, December 15, 2017

Try, try again

Another likely candidate for the Mexican Presidency is profiled here. Still not the PRI.

He's been running for president in Mexico for more than a decade. He's floated amnesty for drug criminals. Could he win?
One of Mexico’s most controversial and resilient political figures formalized his bid for the presidency Tuesday, vowing if elected to wean Mexico off U.S. agricultural imports, increase aid for students and the elderly and consider amnesty for drug war criminals.

The announcement by leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was a surprise to no one. AMLO, as he is known to his hordes of supporters and detractors, has been running for president for well over a decade.

The mayor of Mexico City from 2000 to 2005, he narrowly lost to businessman Felipe Calderon in the 2006 presidential race. Six years later, Lopez Obrador was defeated by Enrique Peña Nieto…

This time around, Lopez Obrador is leading in the polls, with a recent one showing him 12 percentage points ahead of his nearest rival…

Lopez Obrador became the face of the Mexican left thanks to his two previous campaigns and the months-long protest he led in the main square of Mexico City after his 2006 loss, which he blamed on vote fraud.

Jose Antonio Meade, a Yale-educated former finance minister and the likely PRI candidate, has an impressive background in energy and the economy but is unknown to much of the Mexican public…

Ricardo Anaya is the likely candidate for an unusual coalition formed by his conservative National Action Party, or PAN, and the left-leaning Democratic Revolution Party…

Also in the mix is Margarita Zavala, a longtime PAN member — and the wife of former President Calderon — who left the party this fall to run as an independent…

But while Lopez Obrador has gone to lengths to portray himself as a man of the people who will stamp out the corruption of Mexico’s ruling elites, some complain that he has given few examples of how he’ll fix the problems.

“He projects an image of austerity that contrasts with the offensive ostentation of the rest of the political class,” academic Jesus Silva-Herzog Marquez recently wrote in Reforma newspaper. “What is striking is the absence of concrete proposals to combat such a complex problem.

“The faith that Lopez Obrador has in Lopez Obrador explains his tenacity, his resistance, his secrecy, his coherence, his sectarianism,” Silva-Herzog said. “He has suffered a thousand injustices but has not been wrong once.”

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