The many intramurals wars within political parties readying to post a candidate for the 2018 presidential elections in Mexico show a map with a truly splintered 10-party political system.
The problem all parties seem to be facing is that their leader usually wants to use the party as the stepping stone to get to the candidacy for “the big one” much to the chagrin of other potential contenders who are calling for a fair competition within the party.
Take for instance the National Action Party (PAN) which is the last one making noise in terms of candidates seeking to position themselves for the final sprint for the presidency next year.
Over the weekend a group of 18 PAN noteworthy members sent a joint letter to PAN national president Ricardo Anaya Cortés to quit the race and to be “impartial and define yourself” as to presidential aspirations.
Apparently the letter took Anaya Cortés by surprise and he had no choice but to say that his main objective at present is the 2017 governor elections in the states of Coahuila, Nayarit and the State of Mexico and that all his efforts are geared towards “my statutory responsibilities.”
He added that for him “adversaries are without, not within our ranks.”
Still, everyone thinks that he resents the early launching of the candidacies of Margarita Zavala de Calderón and Puebla State Gov. Rafael Moreno Valle, who have launched their hat into the ring way in advance.
But if Anaya Cortés wants to do the same, he should leave PAN leadership and allow for a clean primary within the party.
Another cast at hand is in the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) where the finest joke is that “there’s no visible candidate.” But behind the scenes there are several hopefuls who’d for sure succeed their Godfather President Enrique Peña Nieto.
Yet unlike at PAN, where competition is more or less open and inner primary bound, at PRI everyone knows that in the end it will be Peña Nieto who points his finger at the now allegedly “anonymous” pretender as marked by the age-old PRI tradition ever since the times it was a one party dictatorship.
Names of PRI hopefuls are definitely Interior Secretary Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong who recently denied he hoped for his party’s candidacy, but as one political columnist put it, “do you believe Osorio? I don’t.”
Then there’s jack of all trades and current Treasury and Public Finance Secretary (SHCP) José Antonio Meade Kuribreña who also claims innocence as to being guilty of his candidacy.
Another potential PRI candidate is Manlio Fabio Beltrones who last week made a notorious comeback associating him with the left wing Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), proposing governing by coalitions in a parliamentary style. As it is said in Spanish, Manlio Fabio is “stirring the soup” (meneando el caldo) in his own favor.
It was strange to see Manlio Fabio with the PRD people, as he’s a PRI stalwart, but at this point PRD may just be looking for a strong candidate and party-jumping is a potential alternative to candidates who are left out of their own parties.
Yet for PRD the biggest potential candidate is Mexico City Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera, who is also claiming that he is too busy running the megalopolis to be thinking about being candidate for a party such as the PRD to which he does not belong.
Are these all the potential nominees for candidates for 2018?
Well, then there’s Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) who has been running for the presidency since 2005 for the PRD. But when the moment comes, he will register his name as the candidate for the National Regeneration Movement (Morena).
AMLO’s advance candidacy which other parties claim is illegal definitely has placed him as the frontrunner in the current polls, and he says his campaign is not illegal because he’s not a registered candidate yet.
As for the polls in Mexico, other candidates such as Margarita Zavala are claiming the same thing, but the pollsters are not to be trusted, not just yet.
But be certain that at this point, still nearly 20 months away from the presidential candidacy, the noise of intra-party bickering can be heard loud as all potential hopefuls lay the foundations for what could be the race of their lives.