Tuesday was a politically complicated day in both houses of Mexican Congress with several events affecting proceedings.
At the crux of all the apparent problems, however, is the insistence of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) stubbornly wants to appoint current Attorney General Raúl Cervantes Andrade as the first Prosecutor of the Nation, a new position that is to last nine years.
Since Attorney General Cervantes Andrade is a PRI member, all opposing political parties claim that Peña Nieto is seeking a “carnal” or brother who will protect all guilty corrupt PRI politicians from potential prosecutions, including the President himself for the next nine years. The term of the first Prosecutor is to last until 2027.
The first problem broke out since last week at the Senate as PRI Senators voted for National Action Party (PAN) Senator Ernesto Cordero as Senate whip in a move PAN leader Ricardo Anaya considered an act of “treason” by Cordero, who allegedly – along with four more PAN Senators – would vote for the Cervantes Andrade candidacy for Prosecutor. The five were suspended from party activities and are now facing expelling from the party. The four issued Monday an oath they would not vote for Cervantes.
This very issue has provoked a rift at the Chamber of Deputies which was to elect a new president on Tuesday but because now PRI deputies see the Cervantes nomination in peril, they refused to attend the 9 a.m. meeting in which, the President’s political troubleshooter, Interior Secretary Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, was invited to attend but backed down in a last minute decision.
The result of this conflict is that the Chamber of Deputies is today without a president and sessions can’t be carried out.
To boot, Tuesday morning the leaders of PAN, Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) and Citizens’ Movement (MC) party Ricardo Anaya, Alejandra Barrales and Dante Delgado, respectively, went to the National Electoral Institute (INE) to register a coalition that enables the three parties to run candidates together to the 3,447 electoral posts that will be up for grabs during the upcoming July 1, 2018 elections.
The PAN, PRD and MC leaders made it a point that each of the parties will get to keep their identity but with this agreement – it is not a coalition, they claim – they can open up their political party license to “private citizens” who may want to run for an elected post.
Of course, the objective in the end is to back each other against their common enemy which is no other than President Peña Nieto’s PRI, which some claim wants to win not just the 2018, but also the 2024 and 2030 elections to perpetuate its reign in power.
It must also be added that the booming National Regeneration Movement (Morena) – which sacked PRD from about two thirds of its membership – is making the three coalesced parties very nervous; this goes especially for PRD which has governed Mexico City – the crown jewel of Mexican politics – for the past 20 years.
The coordinator of PRI solons at the Chamber of Deputies Cesar Camacho summoned Tuesday a press conference to complain about the PAN refusal to carry on with activities as it is now high time to approve the Economic Budget for 2018 and without a president the Chamber of Deputies just can’t operate. He even threatened to take his case to the Supreme Court, which of course, was not taken seriously as it is a case the Supreme Court would immediately turn down.
Several PAN-PRD and MC Deputies told Camacho that current Chamber president Guadalupe Murguía had summoned to be replaced by midnight Tuesday. If not replaced, they contend, Deputy Murguía can continue at the helm until a new president is elected.
Deputy Camacho retorted that “we are at the gates of a Constitutional crisis” and accused those opposing the Cervantes nomination that “none of the demands of the kidnappers (of the Chamber of Deputies) is within the competence of the Chamber of Deputies.”
This charade will continue Wednesday.