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Political Parties Play Politics with Earthquake Relief

Parties differ on the amounts and doubt each others' intentions
By The News · 27 of September 2017 15:27:36
Leader of the National Executive Committee (CEN) of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) Enrique Ochoa Reza, during a press conference in Mexico City, Mexico on September 25, 2017, No available, photo: Cuartoscuro/Saúl López

Political parties seem to have rallied around the idea of donating their party’s budget and/or campaign funds towards the relief and rebuilding efforts after the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that struck Mexico on September 19.

The goal seems to be the same, however the proposal by each party is different and the intention of each political party has also come under question.

The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI)

PRI National Executive Committee (CEN) leader Enrique Ochoa Reza said that his party will put forward a reform initiative that would eliminate public funding of political parties as well as plurinominal deputies.

Ochoa Reza also said that the PRI will also reject any other financial benefits for the rest of 2017.

The Citizens’ Front: Made up by the National Action Party (PAN), the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) and the Citizens’ Movement.

Leaders Alejandra Barrales Magdaleno (PRD), Ricardo Anaya Cortés (PAN) and Dante Delgado Rannauro (Citizens’ Movement) presented proposals so that money meant for political parties could be redirected towards relief.

Delgado Rannauro said that ” the money shouldn’t come from people’s taxes. It should come from donations from our members and our followers.”

National Regeneration Movement (Morena)

Leader Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) said that he would make a proposal to the council of Morena in order to donate 50 percent of the party’s campaign funds.

AMLO’s proposal is said to have been originally for only of 20 percent of campaign funds, but after the PRI’s initial proposal to donate 25 percent, AMLO raised the amount to 50 percent.

National Electoral Institute (INE) 

INE president Lorenzo Córdova Vianello said that there is a pathway in order for political parties to legally donate their campaign funds towards relief efforts.

“The INE considers that there are legal pathways for political parties to donate the money that they get from the state towards relief efforts,” said Córdova Vianello.

The Politics 

The moment the proposal for political parties to donate their campaign funds started circulating, the game of politics began and since then every political party has wanted to give the impression that they were the ones that came up with the idea.

The idea seems to have come from citizens’ demands rather than from a politician.

The Citizens’ Front and the Social Encounter Party (PES) have come out against the PRI’s proposal, saying it’s an act of desperation and populism.

“The PRI has always had all the necessary instruments to eliminate this [public funding] at other times, when other organizations have proposed this in the past. The PRI didn’t go along, now they’re desperate and want to take advantage of a tragedy for the people of Mexico,” said Delgado Rannauro.

Many people don’t trust the intention of political parties to willingly give up campaign funds, which are basically taxpayer dollars. Many people want politicians to donate money from their own pockets, and suspect that parties will eventually use this as a front for more corruption.