Political Thermometer

October 19, 2015
Political Thermometer

The elections held on the first Sunday of June completely replaced the composition of Mexico’s House of Representatives (500 positions), as well as nine governorships, and a significant number of state legislative and city council positions throughout the country. This election had the greatest participation of political parties ever experienced in Mexican democracy and featured ten parties campaigning for the popular election. The mid-term elections were held during a complicated time for politics in Mexico, amid broad skepticism by the public. This political turmoil and public skepticism even gave way to a movement calling for the cancellation of the election, urging the public to stay away from the polls. Null votes (those cancelled by the voter by electing more than one option or none) represented 4.91%, which despite being a low figure, is a cause for concern for future elections. More than 72 million Mexicans voted, which represents 47.1% of eligible voters. The mid-term elections show various things, among them that if the election is considered as an evaluation of Enrique Pena Nieto’s administration, the outlook is positive for the administration’s party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI for its Spanish acronym). The most notable impact of the movement calling for abstention from the polls was felt by the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD for its Spanish acronym), particularly given the arrival of the Morena Party of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, which was triumphant in Mexico City. The minor parties, which received less than 3% of the popular vote, were the leftist Labor Party (PT for its Spanish acronym) and the Humanist Party, which both lost their registrations. One of the highlights of the mid-term election was the victory of an independent candidate, Jaime Rodriguez Calderon (known as “El Bronco”) for the office of the Governor of Nuevo Leon. Another point to consider is that President Pena Nieto’s administration will not have to negotiate with other parties for the approval of secondary reforms (laws), owing to its alliance with the Green Ecological Party of Mexico (PVEM for its Spanish acronym), which gives it the requisite majority. Consequently, President Peña Nieto should be able to resolve relatively easily issues regarding the public spending budget, while his opposition will find it harder to negotiate with the administration and the PRI. These elections were a call to action by Mexican citizens as to the issues faced by the country, including public safety, conflicts of interest among the political class, economic growth and, above all, a sense of confidence in the democratic regime and overall governance.

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