Two years to the month away from the next presidential elections in Mexico, there is an increasing array of hopefuls from all political parties.
Yet for small political think-tank Center for Development Research (CIDAC), a non-government organization that analyzes political trends, one of the big concerns they published last week before going out of business (temporarily, they claim) is an analysis of why President Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN) is a political quagmire and most of all, why his Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which the president runs at will, is not a viable choice to continue at the helm of the nation when big competition comes up in 2018.
They summarized in their last document (check www.cidac.org) the seven deadly sins Peña Nieto has committed in his nearly four years in power and his incompetence to give them a proper solution.
Here are the seven reasons the CIDAC think-tankers (their names at the end) think EPN and his party will most likely lose the next elections after wasting the first year repositioning PRI in good standing with the inclusive Pact for Mexico coalition with major political parties, which went awry as of the second year.
1. Distancing Himself from the Business Sector
EPN’s conflict with the business sector can be traced back to the 2013 Tax Reform that left everyone unhappy, mostly because it was not part of his campaign promises, and needless to say higher taxes are never popular.
Then came the “White House” corruption scandal that truly smeared the presidential image, and Congress began patching up an anti-corruption law that was not well met by the organized business. It was then that the top two organization, the Employers Federation of Mexico (Coparmex) and the Business Coordinator Council (CCE) pushed for the controversial “Three Out of Three” bill that demanded all public officials to file an income and properties statement, their interests and a tax return.
This demand, say the CIDCA analysts, “could have represented a possible reconciliation.” The PRI legislators demanded that businessmen dealing with government contracts do the same. Though Peña Nieto finally vetoed this last clause, the damage of angering businessmen was already done.
2. The Teachers’ Conflict
The 2013 Education Reform spiked the hornets’ nest from the very beginning, angering teachers and forcing Congress to meet in alternate locations other than the official buildings. The conflict got worse with the disappearance of the Oaxaca Public Education Institute, run by the National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) union, and the recent arrest of CNTE leaders. Their airports, roads and railways blockades are doing enormous damage to the economy, but the president is not backing down.
3. Offending the Catholics
The recognition and backing of same-sex marriages outraged the Catholic Church. This has made the Catholics turn their back on EPN and the PRI alike, as in the past June 5 state elections the priests launched a campaign against PRI candidates, who ended up losing.
4. PRI Cracked at the Seams
After the electoral defeat of 2016 in which PRI lost seven out of 12 state governments, EPN forced the resignation of then PRI president Manlio Fabio Beltrones, who upon leaving said “whatever an administration does is resented by its party.” Beltrones was not alone in criticizing Peña Nieto’s style of imposing unpopular laws.
5. The Armed Forces
National Defense Secretary Salvador Cienfuegos has decried and publicly stated his disagreement with giving the Army and Navy public safety-keeping tasks that, under the constitution, belong to the police.
6. Human Rights Violations
From the UN, the U.S. State Department, to smaller non-government human rights organization, the onslaught against the administration’s human rights record is overwhelming, even if it created the National Human Rights Plan, which turned out to be deficient and insufficient.
7. Voters Punish Corruption
The defeats the PRI received in the past election are not fortuitous. They represent a rejection of the political platforms and their faulty application. It is foreseeable that in the state elections of 2017 (Coahuila, Nayarit and Peña Nieto’s own State of Mexico) the trend to vote against PRI will continue. This message is not new to the administration and it is a vote against corruption, which the people of Mexico see as the worst scourge of government.
The analysts participating in this summary of presidential sins are Carlos de la Rosa, Ximena López, Mireya Moreno, Alejandro Rosario and Rafael Vega. It was coordinated by Mariana Meza and edited by Lorena Becerra.
The above is a summary of their summary.