Monday, November 29, 2010

Why the Mexican left may lose Mexico City in 2012

A couple of weeks ago, a presentation was held in Mexico for a new party called "Partido de la Ciudad" in Mexico City, which ostensibly seek to present a new "leftwing" alternative to PRD. The party is founded by ex-PRD members René Arce - still a senator for the party - and Víctor Hugo Círigo, who until 2009 headed the Mexico City legislature. The party is not yet officially registered and not much exists beyond its name, but at is "premiere," if one may, in a meeting held Nov. 14, the party attracted ex Partido Socialdemócrata (PSD members such as Alberto Begné, Robles Maloof and Adrián Lajous, but also in front row, notably panistas such as the nefarious PAN Senator Federico Döring, as well as Minerva Hernández, now a senator for PAN after she unceremoniously dumped the party that had here elected, PRD, and former national PRD deputy Ruth Zavalea, who is now campaigning for the PRI in Guerrero.

PSD, for one, is now extinct as a national party, but some groupings exist on the state level. However, its former national leader, Jorge Carlos Díaz, just announced that the new Partido de la Ciudady would be formed only in the Federal District, and will have a "progressive" profile, above all in favor of legalization of "all drugs."

The idea that Mexico City needs another socially liberal "progressive" party to further this agenda in Mexico City is quite suspect. The party will obviously sap votes from the PRD, and may at best, should it be registered, get a few seats in the Mexico City legislature, but at worst, should it present its own candidate for Mexico City mayor, provoke a split in the left that may allow a PAN or even PRI candidate for winning the 2012 elections. The PRD in Mexico City is, with the exception of the more socially conservatives backing AMLO's faction, a highly liberal party, socially speaking, having successfully pushed gay and women rights, including gay marriage and abortion rights. Many also favor decriminalization or even legalization. What are the true motives behind this new party?

Also, yesterday it was reported that Izquierda Democrática Nacional (IDN), the heavily clientelist and "social-movement"-based faction of the PRD led by René Bejarano (he of the 2004 dollar-stuffing fame), announced it will launch its own candidate for Mexico City mayor 2012.

Current mayor Ebrard will need the backing of the clientelist structures in IDN to have his successor elected, as well as to back his 2012 bid, and this may all simply be some posturing part of the bargaining process - it will not come for free - yet could also possibly bye  a step toward creating its own party based on IDN and Bejarano's own Movimiento Nacional por la Esperanza (MNE)

(Bejarano, notably, was expelled from the PRD and when I asked his wife Dolores Padierna a while back if he was involved in any PRD activities, she brushed it off. Padierna is nominally the head of IDN, but it is obvious that Bejarano pulls the threads. Of note, the IDN is pushing for Dolores Padierna to be a senatorial candidate for the PRD(!) - she is such a controversial, and unfit, choice that even AMLO in 2006 vetoed this.)

While the two groupings - the "Partido de la Ciudad" by the Cïrigo/Arce brothers, and the IDN/MNE by the Bejaranos - may have different motivations, they may well succeed in tearing the PRD and the left apart in Mexico City, and hand it to the opposition. It seems pertinent to ask: Is this also their goal?

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