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Curses…. foiled again: three dimensional chess at San Lazaro

1 September 2015

With Enrique Peña Nieto calling Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador a “demagogue”, and PRD’s Jésus Ortega (one of the leaders of the current within the still leftist PRD which has favored collaborating with the far right if it means an electoral victory) claiming López Obrador is not a leftist at all, but a “mere” populist, it can only mean one thing… even though the next presidential election is three years away, the establishment is already hard at work to prevent AMLO from reaching Los Pinos… again.

Although last July’s election still left the three main parties in control of the legislature, and the PRI continues to dominate the country (together with its yuppie division, the fake Green Party, PVEM) holding half the seats in the incoming Chamber of Deputies, the three major rivals are now worried that if they don’t cooperate, it will be the upstart minor parties — led by AMLO’s Morena — that will be driving the legislative agenda, and dominating the news cycles, during the 2018 election season.

Although the Mexican left has always tended to form circular firing squads, the PRD’s woes come mostly from its willingness to be co-opted into the neo-liberal “mainstream” in return for a better shot at second-tier offices (municipal presidencies and state legislatures), selecting candidates of less that ideal backgrounds.  The party included probably no more than its share of crooks than either of the other two main parties as it become less and less distinct in its policies than the two widely derided on the left as “PRIAN” was making itself irrelevant.  And, in last July’s election, it showed.

With no party having a majority in the Chamber of Deputies, the presidency of the lower house (equivalent to the U.S. Speaker of the House) will rotate among the leaders of the three top factions within the Chamber.  That is, PRI (and the Greens) will get a two year run, PAN, two years… and the third force the two years just before the election.

PRD is the third force… maybe.

The Legislative session opens today… minus one PRD deputy.  Ariadna Montiel Reyes, a Federal District representative from one of the more traditionally socialist PRD factions, quit the party.  Although Montiel will be in a caucus with conservative Sinaloan businesman and the only other independent in the Chamber, Jesús Clouthier, this means PRD is NOT the third force… IF Morena forms a legislative caucus with the Citizens’ Movement, or is able to convince Ms. Montiel to join their party (or… within the realm of plausiblity… convinces Clouthier — who has been pushing for honesty in government over any particular economic issue, captures the entire independent caucus), the Chamber will find itself having to deal with whatever legislative initiatives AMLO wishes to have being discussed while he is a presidential candidate.  This would put the mainstream parties in a pickle… having to defend something like their own high salaries, as AMLO is going around denouncing over-paid electoral officials.

On the other hand… don’t be surprised if PRD (or PAN) is able to pick off a few deputies from one of the other parties, and the dance goes on.  Or… PRI pushes a bill to change the way the chamber selects their leader… or…


Jesusa Cervantes, “Sufre PRD primer descalabro en la Cámara de Diputados; renuncia Ariadna Montiel“, Proceso, 31 Augusto 2015.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 2 September 2015 10:13 pm

    Interesting. I don’t follow Mexican politics closely, but it has become more of genuine competition in the last fifteen years, which is to the good. Let’s see what El Bronco can do in Nuevo Leon. And I like the idea of AMLO upsetting the comfortable power structure as that incumbent structure is not exactly in a hurry to advance the public good.

    One of the things I noted during my Mexico road trip last year was the fact that there was a police/military checkpoint at each state border. So if that’s the case, then how the heck do so many drugs make their way north without collaboration from the authorities? Answer: they don’t. And the checkpoints make this rather blindingly obvious. It’s a wonder they even exist because they raise so many questions. Aside from the drug trafficking question, they also raise a number of other law enforcement questions too, like how did El Chapo manage to get from his prison across at least a couple of state boundaries and back to Baradiguato without being stopped en route? He flew? Even more suspicious.

    I hope the press is asking these questions because it doesn’t matter that this Gringo is raising them.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where it is possible to drive coast-to-coast without being stopped once by police.

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