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Opinion
Ricardo Castillo
Ricardo Castillo Anti-AMLO Ploy Whether gossip or not, the selection by PRI and PAN of these two candidates is not mere politicking but a way to sway the State of Mexico vote against López Obrador
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The political talk of the day in Mexico is about an alleged meeting that took place on Friday night January 20 at the presidential residence of Los Pinos.

The objective of the gathering, according to El Universal daily columnist Salvador García Soto, was to make an alliance between President Enrique Peña Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and his not so mysterious visitor Ricardo Anaya, president of the National Action Party (PAN), to impede populist left wing party National Regeneration Movement (Morena) led by virtual presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) from winning the upcoming election in the State of Mexico.

PAN has denied that its president Ricardo Anaya ever visited Los Pinos Friday night, but journalist García Soto claims he got the news scoop from “governors” that attended the gathering to beat AMLO and Morena at all costs.

Another one who fully agrees that the midnight affair existed is AMLO himself, who on Monday made the presentation of his third book about the Mexican electoral system, in which he reasserts that corrupt alliances between PRI and PAN to oust him from politics altogether have always existed from a single party he calls “PRIAN.”

According to García Soto, Peña Nieto wanted to negotiate with Anaya the candidacy for governor and to back former presidential candidate Josefina Vázquez Mota to be the PAN candidate, while for Peña Nieto’s PRI will run his blood cousin Alfredo del Mazo Maza.

“I’d be happy if either one wins,” Peña Nieto is quoted as saying, but not the Morena candidate.

Whether gossip or not, the selection by PRI and PAN of these two candidates is not mere politicking but a way to sway the State of Mexico vote against López Obrador as it is the objective of both parties to contain the candidacy of AMLO as much as possible for next year’s 2018 presidential election in which AMLO is currently the unquestioned front-runner.

Also attending, according to columnist García Soto, was former Senator Santiago Creel — a prominent PAN member — who has vehemently denied there was any gathering as such a move would go against the principles of the National Action Party.

“There is no way we will move over the ‘complot’ path,” Creel was quoted as saying, while PAN press secretary Fernando Rodríguez Doval called the reports on the meeting “absurd” according to political writer Pancho Garfias of daily Excelsior.

El Universal columnist García Soto, however, Tuesday wrote a second article on the “complot” in which he adds further info by saying that also present at the meeting that allegedly never existed was Foreign Relations Secretary (SRE) Luis Videgaray, the long-time confidant and trustworthy counselor to President Peña Nieto. Videgaray played the silent partner to the president during the midnight meeting on January 20.

This gathering comes after the Peña Nieto administration has sent memos to AMLO upholding democracy and its values and the freedom to run for president any Mexican citizen has. In fact, Peña Nieto has sought to meet personally with AMLO on several occasions, but AMLO has declined the invitations.

During his book presentation Monday, AMLO threatened once again that if he arrives at the presidency with the popular vote, he will mow down as much corruption as possible, indirectly attacking Peña Nieto as corrupt.

“Corruption stems from the top and when in power we’re going to sweep it out the way you sweep stairs, from the bottom down,” he said.

According to García Soto, the purpose of the Jan. 2 gathering was also to neutralize former president Felipe Calderón who is backing his wife Margarita Zavala for the PAN presidential candidacy, a candidacy Ricardo Anaya also yearns for.

But the question remains. Where did García Soto get the scoop from? He’s not telling, which gives the mysterious meeting a shroud of mystery and convenience fixes that are traditionally typical of Mexican underground politicking.

PRIAN vs. AMLO? You bet.

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