The PRI – Victory by Default?
The 2015 midterm elections left Mexico with an unpleasant choice. Do you support a governing party and a president that promised security and economic development, but has failed to deliver? Or do you support the opposition parties in the midst of fragmentation and internal dissent? The public spoke, and returned the PRI with a smaller, but still dominant majority. Despite small losses in the legislature, they made gains in the statewide races.
If current trends hold, the 2018 race will mirror that of 2015. Can the increasingly unpopular PRI hold the center? Will the party find another charismatic young candidate that can capture the hearts and minds of Mexico’s poor? Or will it choose to look to its past and run an established politician, able to command the breadth of the party’s machinery? The choice won’t be an easy one, and the primary is expected to include one of the widest fields.
Luis Videgaray Caso – Currently the minister of Public Finance, Caso is younger than much of the field at 47. In the best vein of the technocrats, he completed his PhD in Economics at MIT, completing his thesis work on the proper use of fiscal stimulus in instances of oil price shocks. Given the state of Alberta’s current markets, it seemed like an interesting read. I’m intruiged by his work, and curious to see how he will do as a candidate. You can find the document here.
Eruviel Avila Villegas – Avila served two terms as Mayor of Morelas, and began his term as governor of Mexico in 2012. He has published extensively on Mexican constitutional law, and would offer an intriguing relationship with the Supreme Court during a term that involving potential constitutional challenges.
Ivonne Ortega – One of the youngest names on the list, Ortega was elected as Mayor at the age of 26. She was the first female governor of the state of Yucatan, and enjoys wide popularity throughout southern Mexico.
Manlio Fabio Beltrones – One of the older candidates on the list, Beltrones was fingered by the U.S. for his connection to Juarez cartel boss Amado Carillo Fuentes.
Miguel Angel Osorio Chong – Secretary of the Interior and former governor of Hidalgo, Chong held responsibility for the prison holding Chapo Guzman. His escape in 2015 and subsequent recapture may could buoy his campaign – as long as the government can control limit violence and insecurity.
Jose Antonio Meade – Did 3 years as EPN’s Foreign Minister, but was shuffled to Social Development. Often a poison pill for Ministers with higher ambitions, Meade’s is a candidate to watch in 2017.