Two Mexican political parties — more often than not called unlikely bed partners — are making an unprecedented political move to what is being labeled a Wide Democratic Front (Frente Amplio Democrático (FAD)). Their objective in trying to surmount humongous ideological and moral differences aims at defeating in the 2018 presidential elections a ruthless foe: President Enrique Peña Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).
This past weekend Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) president Alejandra Barrales summoned top organization leaders to present her FAD plan and a recently approved document by committees, which reads:
“For 2018, an unprecedented and highly competitive election will take place in which three different trends will be competing: one that pushes for extremism and social as well as political polarization in the nation, another, that of PRI, that represents continuity, the status quo and that defends the neoliberal model and a third one that proposes the construction of a new political and social majority to represent democratic plurality in Mexico.”
And of course, the two main leading but still minority forces are PRD and the National Action Party (PAN) and the proposal has yet to be approved at a general assembly to be held apparently next July 8.
The joint venture between PRD and PAN is not new. It was first announced last May 20 in which both will not divide the already much splintered vote further, and support one presidential candidate suitable for both parties.
PAN’s Gustavo Madero, who has been appointed to oversee the “construction of a political platform for 2018, said that these are moments in which PRD and PAN are not competitors and “at PAN we have an open attitude to seek the construction along with others of an including plural project into which Morena also fits.”
Morena is the moniker for the National Regeneration Movement led by twice presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), who represents the above described as a current “that pushes for extremism.” Right up front Sunday, AMLO rejected any alliance with PRD or PAN, rejecting their former backing of the “Pact for Mexico” that liberalized and “bankrupted” the Mexican oil monopoly Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex). “They are PRI cronies,” AMLO says and whatever comes out of the FAD is to uphold PRI and try to damage Morena.
At PAN, politicking is not at a high pitch as presidential candidacy hopefuls are involved in defining the manner to elect a candidate as at least three viable politicians want to run, namely, Margarita Zavala, Rafael Moreno Valle and PAN current president Ricardo Anaya.
At PRD, the potential FAD joint venture between PRD and PAN has divided the party even further, and on Monday a large ideological faction led by René Bejerano and Senator Dolores Padierna was threatening to leave PRD if president Barrales (also a senator) manages to coalesce this attempt.
Traditionally, PRD and PAN have been political enemies with PRD proposing and legalizing once “heinous” ideals such as abortions and gay marriages. PRD has governed Mexico City for the past 20 years and it is definitely a place where PAN would like to get a slice of the pie. PAN ruled Mexico from 2000 to 2012 and even at each other throats most of the time, they learned to govern together. Even now, some might say that PRD rules Mexico City through Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera, himself also a potentially viable candidate for president in 2018.
Plus, PAN has become more tolerant of the gay community particularly after portentous parades, like that of last Saturday in which the LGBTTTI flag was flow by hundreds of thousands. PAN has stopped seeing them with morality laden eyes and more like potential votes.
What is a reality is that the FAD bipartisan move strikes a different note to the way parties participated in elections in the past. But it is not an easy wager as both have different structures and ideologies, and of course, losing is never an option.