Monday, August 13, 2012

Calderón faces PAN after the defeat

Calderón faced the PAN's national council this weekend, where a low-key but nonetheless intensive  fight is playing out over the future of the party. In essence, Calderón wants to hold some kind of "refoundational congress" or a party congress (PAN calls "Asamblea Nacional) while he is still in power, obviously given that his clout will be drastically on the wane when he leaves office. Most deputies and leaders of state branches opposes this, preferring instead one in the spring of 2013, when his presidency is over. So does Gustavo Madero, PAN's president, and an antagonist of Calderón

Instead, some kind of compromise appears to have been knitted behind the scenes where a commission will be set up to decide when the next party congress will be held. But even if Calderón has a majority of loyalists on this commission, it seems very unlikely that he'll manage to block its postponement. As such, he faced a clear defeat this weekend.

During his speech, in an extremely rare moment of self-criticism, he said he and PAN had "shared responsibility" for the July 1 results, but also emphasizes that the PAN did a poor job of promoting the "achievements" of his administration. Earlier he made the statement that PAN had presented to many "pygmy candidates" in a meeting with PAN elites in late July.

Others might instead point out that Calderón's PAN has been corrupted and run into the ground much thanks to his very control of it, including the PRI-style dedazos he used to pick two terrible party presidents. It was a sign of his waning control that Gustavo Madero was not his favorite. Nor was Josefina Vázquez Mota.

Calderón is estimated to maintain the loyalty of only around 120 of 380 councilors, or 1/3.
Madero's group is estimated at around 100. With around 60 councilors, those who can tip the balance are regarded  the most conservative of its groups, represented by its secretary general Cecilia Romero Castillo (who was an absolute disaster as head of the INM migrants institute) and Juan Manuel Oliva Ramírez (who was an absolute disaster as governor of Guanajuato).

The PAN is need of a refoundation for sure, but while Calderón obviously thinks it needs more calderonismo, perhaps through his wife's 2018 candidacy, many others in the party regard this not as the cure, but as the very cancer the party has suffered from.

Calderón llega con desventaja al Consejo Nacional del PAN. El Universal, Aug. 11, 2012
Requiere el PAN cambio con rapidez, dice FCH. El Universal,  Aug. 10, 2012.
FCH: tuvo el PAN candidatos pigmeos. El Universal, July 27, 2012
Panistas ponen fecha para iniciar la "refundación". El Universal, Aug. 12, 2012.
Madero, contra reflexión rápida. El Universal, Aug. 12, 2012.
Derrotan a Calderón en el consejo del PAN; la reforma, hasta 2013. La Jornada, Aug. 12, 2012
Clientelismo y ruptura moral de AN, causa de la derrota: Calderón.La Jornada, Aug. 12, 2012

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