Political Thermometer

January 10, 2013
Political Thermometer

Good politics have returned to Mexico. After nearly a year of quarrels and confrontations between politicians as a result of the elections, the big political news is the execution of a political agreement known as the "Pact for Mexico." The pact is an agreement between the three major political parties of Mexico: the National Action Party (PAN), the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), and the governing party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), headed by President Enrique Peña Nieto. An agreement of this kind is unprecedented in Mexico and expresses an interest in moving forward with the creation of agreements to achieve reforms that benefit the country as a whole. In the past, disagreements such as confrontations between Congress and the President have prevented the passage of reforms that the country needs. This new strategy intended to leave the disagreements of the past behind has begun to render results. The guiding principles of the Pact are the following: strengthening of the Nation and democratizing the economy and politics, including the broadening of social rights and the participation of citizens in the design, implementation and evaluation of public policy. In accordance with such guiding principles, the Pact includes the following agreements: (1) increasing rights; (2) economic growth, employment and competitiveness; (3) safety and justice; (4) transparency, accountability and fighting corruption; and (5) democratic governance. Each of these agreements includes programs and specific agreements and references to the guidelines governing such issues, the same which will need to be modified. Significant legislative and regulatory activity is expected, as well as amendments to the Constitution. What is particularly interesting is the adherence of PAN and PRD to the Pact (it is well understood that PRI would favor the plan designed by the PRI president without question) and that they assumed the risk of criticism and opposition from their party affiliates with respect to the project designed by PRI. For example, Gustavo Madero, president of PAN, stated that the pact is, "A great sign that should lead to legislative proposals to make it a reality. The Pact does not erase the differences that exist between the political parties nor the very spirit of PAN; however, it symbolizes a great opportunity for Mexico." Madero praised the boldness of President Enrique Peña in collecting proposals by all the political parties. The president of the combative PRD acknowledged that no political party alone can move the country forward; therefore, it is worthwhile to take a risk and listen to social organizations.. Specifically, he stated, "We know it is a risk, but it is worth taking, PRD is willing to be a responsible left-wing party is not betting on disaster; the people want certainty that another Mexico is possible in democracy." He highlighted that PRD "desires growth and economic development." "We do not want violence; we cannot accept it, much less endorse it." This does not mean that adherence to the Pact was unanimous between the members of the opposing parties. Extreme PAN and PRD members seriously questioned their leaders for participating in the Pact. Moving forward, everything will depend on the results of the Pact and how successful these proposals are in creating real changes for Mexico. For now, the political temperature remains stable.

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