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“I belong to no organized political party… I’m a Democrat(ic Revolutionary)”

10 February 2007
PRD weekend meet beset by internal strife
BY KELLY ARTHUR GARRETT/The Herald Mexico El Universal

Sábado 10 de febrero de 2007

The Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) staggers into its annual National Council Saturday beset by internal rivalries, strategic blunders and image disasters.The leftist party had a decent year in 2006, snagging the Chiapas governorship and winning enough congressional races to be the No. 2 force in Congress, behind the National Action Party (PAN).

But the shock of Andrés Manuel López Obrador´s narrow loss is still causing debate over who´s to blame and how to proceed. More ominously, the decision to protest the election by blocking streets, and then declare López Obrador the “legitimate president” was controversial both inside and outside the party.

Those issues will color the agenda of the 300 PRD delegates who will be gathering over the weekend. That agenda includes coming up with a broad strategy for the rest of this year and the 14 state elections it holds in store.

Topic A will be the proposed candidacy of Ana Rosa Payán for governor of Yucatán for the coalition that includes the PRD (along with the Convergence and Labor parties). Payán reached an agreement with party leaders to run with the coalition, even though she was until recently a 23-year member of the PAN and a severe critic of López Obrador during the 2006 presidential campaign.

…said Dolores Padierna, a former federal deputy and now leader of the PRD faction known as the National Democratic Left, or IDN. “If she wins, what does the left win?”

Other CEN members have a more nuanced view, however, noting that the PRD will have little chance of gaining even 10 percent of the Yucatán vote without Payán, but could win a tight three-way race with her.

Agustín Guerrero, a PRD member of Mexico City´s legislative assembly (ALDF), said a Payán-PRD match could hand the PAN “a great defeat.” The PAN currently holds the Yucatán governorship.

“It´s not an accord with the PAN; it´s an accord with a detached member of the PAN,” said Guerrero, who belongs to the same PRD faction as Padierna.

The PRD, which grew out of an ad hoc coalition of leftist parties and disgruntled PRI members put together for the 1988 presidential election, is riddled with more than a dozen competing factions.

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