Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Monday, July 09, 2018

Wow! PRI has fallen!

I doubt anyone in the last century would have predicted that the PRI in Mexico would fall to near irrelevance so quickly. In congress that seems to have happened.

Mexico’s motley new congress
THE change brought by Andrés Manuel López Obrador to Mexico’s congress is as startling as his election to the presidency on July 1st. His coalition, Juntos haremos historia (together we will make history), is expected to have three-fifths of seats in the lower house and the senate (see chart)…. The ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) will become the fifth-biggest party in the 500-member lower house. The centre-right National Action Party (PAN), with 92 seats, will be the main opposition.

Mr López Obrador’s legislative forces are a motley group of activists, celebrities and professional politicians. The heart of the coalition is his four-year-old Morena party. It also includes the anti-capitalist Workers’ Party (PT) and the conservative Social Encounter Party (PES), which has evangelical roots…

Mr López Obrador’s congressional majority will give him more power than any president has wielded since the 1990s. At first, he is likely to use it to bring in more generous pensions for the old and scholarships for the young…

Will congress follow where Mr López Obrador leads? The conservatives and the anti-capitalists are sure to disagree on social issues. Morena has few legislators with experience in whipping congressmen into line. The incoming congress will be the first whose members are allowed to run for re-election. If Mr López Obrador remains popular, that will encourage them to do his bidding. If not, they could defect. As with so much about the new president, his congressional clout will depend on his star power.

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