Two funny things are happening in Mexico on the way to the 2018 presidential election forum: two leading political parties are cracking at the seams in two separate rifts that may eventually lead to the formation of a new political party amidst their ashes.
The schisms in both climaxed over the past weekend but for radically different reasons.
At the National Action Party (PAN), five current senators are facing ejection from the party for “treason” as they sidelined with President Enrique Peña Nieto to name the future fiscal for nine years. While at the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), there was a further splinters leaving the mighty party nearly strip naked, politically speaking.
But these very unlikely bed partners may come together in a new organization named the Ample Democratic Front (Frente Amplio Democrático), which would for the first time in Mexican political history bring the left and the right together. Notice I wrote may; it has not happened yet, but if PAN and PRD can agree on presidential and Mexico City governor candidates, they may still come together.
But for now, the reasons for the internal schisms — which definitely will change the national politics over the next three months prior to defining their “horses” to run in the presidential election — are many. Let’s start with PAN.
Two years ago, current PAN president Ricardo Anaya was elected. From the very start the group inside PAN that did not vote for him began attacking him, as Anaya used the party’s 1.5 million “institutional spots” on radio and television to promote himself as the party candidate. His worst critic is former first lady and also presidential hopeful Margarita Zavala who is now the visible head of what is left of the team of PAN members from her husband’s Felipe Calderón administration (2006-2012).
In the midst of this rift last Friday, on the first day the Senate convened for the following congressional period, a vast majority of senators mostly from the president’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) backed by four more PAN senators, voted for Senator Ernesto Cordero to be the Senate whip for their last year of mandate, which ends on Sept. 1, 2018.
This sparked a wave of outrage in a large part by PAN members who considered this move treason to the party and demanded the expulsion from party ranks not only of Cordero, but also of PAN Senators Roberto Gil Zwarth, Javier Lozano, Jorge Luis Lavalle and Salvador Vega.
PAN official party spokesman Damian Zepeda said the expulsion request has been officially made within the party with the National Council. They will first be subjected to due process with hearings to defend their case.
The rift at PAN, however, is a thunderbolt hitting right down the middle to the root and may force if not the dissolution of the party, a weakening divide.
At PRD, whatever’s left of the party last Sunday held their Ninth National Council convention to approve the search of political allies. Attendees voted 207 in favor to 33 against to open up the possibility of admitting a candidate that may not come from the same PRD, an unconceivable move in the still recent past.
The growing move by elected officials to the National Regeneration Movement (Morena) party forced PRD to take this position, particularly as 14 of a total of 19 Senators abandoned party ranks. Many hesitated at first but PRD president and Senator Alejandra Barrales Sunday issued an ultimatum:
“Let there be no more simulations, those who want to leave, go, but don’t take too long” after Senator and former PRD president Dolores Padierna quit last week after thinking about it for a long time.
Barrales announced at the meeting that she will soon meet with PAN president Ricardo Anaya to discuss the formation of the Ample Democratic Front in order to form a “winning electoral coalition.”
That is the state currently at PAN and PRD and of course, this is a saga that will have continuity in the constant change of the Mexican democratic system.
Right and left together? Oh my God!!!