Thursday, August 12, 2010

Espino kicked out of PAN?

I've been pondering for a while who might be kicked out/renounce from their respective parties first: Andrés Manuel López Obrador of the PRD, or Manuel Espino of the PAN. Now it seems Espino might beat AMLO to the task, as an internal committee of the national PAN leadership is meeting next week to discuss whether Espino should be kicked out. 

The timing is hardly opportune, from a  personal angle: Espino's nephew was just murdered in Ciudad Juárez. 

Yet the decision to go ahead with the process that might very well result in Espino's expulsion is noteworthy for a range of reasons:
- Like AMLO, he is a former national president of the PAN

- In comparison with AMLO - who, for instance, in 2009 actively campaigned against his own party - Espino's transgression appear to me far from warranting expulsion, principally criticizing   the PAN alliances and their candidates in the recent elections. What he has been doing, however, is to be quite vocal in his criticism of president Calderón, and herein lies the key: There is much bad blood between the  president and Espino for a range of reasons, yet their feuds have very little to do with ideology, even though Espino belongs to the hard catholic right of PAN, yet about power, and vengeance. Espino, it should be noted, considers himself a serious contender for the PAN candidacy for president in 2012. It is a rather absurd situation: The man who might represent PAN as its standard bearer in 2012 (his chances are hardly stellar), yet hardly a new one in Mexico: AMLO was PRD party president 96-99 and presidential candidate, yet will most likely bow out if Ebrard gets PRD's nomination for 2112. And in 2008, Ricardo Monreal sought the PRD presidency, yet barely a year later ditched PRD (as he had earlier ditched PRI) for the PT. 

Take-home point: If Espino is kicked out, PAN will remain highly divided, and very unlikely to win in 2012. The fights are not chiefly of ideology, but personal vendettas, and of anger from the party organs for Calderón's blatant imposition of candidates the past three years over the heads of national and state party organizations, resorting to the dedazos he criticized so much when in opposition. Stay tuned for next week's decision. 

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