Ill-wishers of PAN will likely read it as a verdict of 12 generally mediocre years of PAN government, and they may well be right: It is hard to drum up much enthusiasm for the PAN in 2012, the year it came third in the presidential contest (last time was in 1988), and moreover handed the keys of Los Pinos back to the PRI: In its campaign of re-affiliation, PAN's membership looks like it will be cut in two, from around 1.8 million to less than 900.000. PAN essentially followed the PRD's move to not just renew its membership lists but really start out from scratch, where all party members had to reconfirm their intentions of being a member.
The main motivation for the initiative: The many disastrously dirty and fraudulent candidate selection processes taking place in the PAN ahead of the 2012 federal elections. PAN took long pride in its reputation as a party of "clean hands," which the past two sexenios have exposed as quite a joke. Its internal elections, moreover, given fraud in party rolls and last minute mass-affiliations of "swallows," who sign up just to leave the party when the election is over, even grew dirtier than those of its main rival on the left, the PRD. That says a lot of the PAN's fall.
PAN prevé perder 50% de militantes. El Universal, Dec. 9, 2012