National Electoral Institute (INE) Counselor Ciro Murayama overnight became “the servile instrument” of the government after he led a movement within INE to cancel the candidacy of David Monreal for governor of the state of Zacatecas.
Monreal’s dereliction came with being three days late in presenting his pre-campaign expenses report. The registration had already been accepted and then withdrawn “by unanimous” decision — but this is one of those cases where “unanimous” does not mean majority. At least two counselors opposed the move.
This move by INE has sparked a major political war as David Monreal is of the National Regeneration Movement (Morena), whereas in previous cases involving the Mexican Green Ecologist Movement (PVEM) and on several similar occasions, Ciro Murayama was nowhere to sanction them, even if he was INE counselor.
What’s dangerous about this for the current electoral process for 12 state governorships is that the general impression is that Murayama’s cessation of the David Monreal candidacy shows what Morena candidates have been claiming all along: “there is no even playing field” in Mexican elections.
Morena president and spiritual leader, as well as founder and owner, Andres Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) says “this is a dirty trick pushed by PRIAN* and this is because we are going to win (we’re leaders in the polls) and they want to disqualify us on the (negotiating) table, that is, committing fraud in advance.”
* PRIAN is AMLO’s way of describing “one party” which is the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and National Action Party (PAN) or PRIAN.
Former Zacatecas governor and current CDMX Cuauhtémoc borough mayor Ricardo Monreal, David’s brother, was extremely disgruntled against the INE counselors’ vote who says the only reason David Monreal was dispossessed of his candidacy was because all polls showed him leading the pack by four points in Zacatecas.
“That’s the only reason they took his registration away,” Ricardo told Excelsior columnist Francisco Garfias, “this is a privation of privileges (desafuero) very much on the Zacatecas style.”
Needless to say that by the time you read this AMLO and Monreal will have filed and sued the INE for injustice and partiality in the Zacatecas election. The suit will be before the Federal Tribunal for Electoral Derelictions (TEPJF) which will determine whether INE acted within the law (certainly within regulations) in canceling David Monreal’s candidacy or not.
But the bad news is for counselor Murayama too, not just for David Monreal. By pushing forward David’s candidacy cancelation Murayama has indeed spiked the hornets’ nest and unleashed AMLO’s wrath against him.
For one AMLO recalls Murayama as one of the many persons who in 2006 validated the electoral fraud that gave then candidate Felipe Calderón the electoral victory by less than one percent.
But prior to and during AMLO’s electoral campaign, who was then Mexico City’s government chief, former president Vicente Fox sued AMLO and sought to have a privation of privileges (desafuero) in order to minimize AMLO’s powerful candidacy.
Though this is no prediction the INE’s cancellation of David Monreal’s candidacy will only “catapult” David’s popularity particularly in Zacatecas.
What is for the moment a distressful situation for the would-be candidate is a magnificent opportunity for AMLO and Morena to do what they do best, wreak political havoc against PRIAN and now INE for political gain.
Adding to Morena’s case is the fact that another Morena candidate, in this case for the state of Durango, Guillermo Fabela, had his registration also canceled by INE because he could not prove how he spent 4,600 pesitos mexicanos.
Other parties get away with not showing how they spent millions, and they don’t get sanctioned.
As of now, expect AMLO and Morena to unleash all the political demonizing against Ciro Murayama, an economics professor at the National University on leave, for being a “feet licking” servant of the political establishment embodied by “PRIAN.”
The 2016 elections are on!