Last Sunday’s elections in 14 states of the Mexican United States (los Estados Unidos Mexicanos) spurred political ambitions for the next 2018 presidential election.
The political party most affected with “futurism” was no doubt the big winner in the elections, the National Action Party (PAN), which won seven of the 12 elections for governor, defeating “the mighty steamroller” that President Enrique Peña Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) considers itself.
Immediately after the smoke cleared by Tuesday with the announcement of the winners, the first PAN presidential nomination hopeful popped up. It was no other than former first lady Margarita Zavala, wife to Felipe Calderón, who was president from 2006 to 2012. (Oh my gosh, are first ladies for president a fashionable trend?)
Up until Sunday Margarita Zavala led the preferences of party insiders for the nomination. But with the resounding victories, the PAN beat the PRI — three of them in coalition with left wing Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), in which they ran compatible candidates. Now, two more names have risen. They are PAN president and mastermind behind the victories Ricardo Anaya, and still Puebla Gov. Rafael Moreno Valle, who on Wednesday announced he “would consider” what he’s been doing for some time, that is, become the PAN’s nominee for the 2018 presidential election.
So it is clear by now, unless someone else jumps on the bandwagon, that the race for the nomination of the National Action Party will be among the above mentioned threesome.
Each of the potential candidates immediately started worming their way in on their own behalf. Margarita made it clear to the press that she was game. Ricardo Anaya is taking credit for straightening up a floundering boat, and Puebla Gov. Moreno Valle threw his hat into the ring.
A fourth candidate in contention could be current Guanajuato State governor Miguel Márquez Márquez who on Thursday said he was pondering the idea of joining the fray.
Thus far Zavala and Anaya seem to have gotten a head start in the race. Margarita by declaring herself a hopeful and Anaya by participating in a television debate last Sunday in which he crushed PRI president and past elections organizer Manlio Fabio Beltrones, who is considered a seasoned politician but felt short in the debate.
Margarita Zavala, however, has met with her first uncomfortable supporter, former president Vicente Fox, who “officially” declared her PAN candidate. Support from the former talkative president could be not just dangerous for Margarita Zavala’s hopes, but also for the National Action Party.
In the 2012 elections, Fox backed President Enrique Peña Nieto’s candidacy in what was considered an act of betrayal to the PAN candidate Josefina Vázquez Mota, who had just garnered 20 percent of the votes.
Fox’s blessing of Margarita is considered “the devil’s kiss,” as Margarita accused the former president (2000-2006) of being a traitor to former candidate Josefina Vazquez, to the PAN itself, to the people who backed him and loved him. “What he did was treason to his personal history and of course, to national history.”
So Fox’s help is not wanted, not by Margarita Zavala, not by PAN officials.
But again, surely the list of names for presidential hopefuls within PAN has been thinned down to four potential pre-candidates and sets off the race towards the 2018 presidential elections.
At PRI, they are still licking last Sunday’s fray wounds and at present, given the control President Enrique Peña Nieto has over the party, everyone is keeping mum because as the old saying goes, “whoever moves will not be included in the picture” meaning that if you talk, you’re out.
A different story is that of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, head of the National Regeneration Movement or Morena, who launched his candidacy for president in 2004, and still going. But for sure, López Obrador will be a 2018 presidential contender.