The Mexican political cauldron has reached a boiling point. You can see the fumes spewing out and the smell of sulphur piercing the air. If you love Mexican politics, then it smells like roses.
The sorcerer stirring the witches’ brew is none other than National Regeneration Movement (Morena) political party leader Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) who has launched an all-out attack on President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration and its alleged “direct involvement” in the State of Mexico’s election for governor.
On Monday, AMLO posted a 15 minute Facebook message in which a great deal of those Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) politicians now holding a cabinet post have been “assigned by Peña Nieto” to a overseeing voting district in the State of Mexico to make sure the PRI candidate Alfredo del Mazo wins it.
To name a few, Education Secretary Alfredo Nuño is to oversee Cuauhtitlan-Izcalli, Health Secretary José Narro Robles will oversee Ecatepec, Communications and Transportation Secretary Gerardo Ruiz Esparza will preside over Texcoco, and so on in areas of heavy voting. The list includes over 50 different people from the Peña Nieto administration in the most important State of Mexico electoral districts. AMLO said, showing a booklet, that it was a PRI official document that was leaked to him.
“Faster than immediately,” as the Mexican redundant phrase to describe firemen in an emergency rush, the president’s press secretary Eduardo Sánchez denied AMLO’s accusations and any participation by the administration in “illegal acts,” as cabinet members are not allowed by law to participate directly or indirectly in electioneering, much the less doing what AMLO says they are doing, using government funds to support their actions.
“There is a clear intervention by the Peña Nieto administration in the election for governor in the State of Mexico election,” AMLO said. “They are carrying out a dirty campaign against Morena and its candidate for governor, Delfina Gómez.”
Adding insult to injury, AMLO made it a point to take a minute with Health Secretary José Narro Robles.
“Who was to think that the former National Autonomous University of Mexico dean was going to end up as a raccoon” or “mapache,” a word used in Mexican political cant to describe an electoral thief.
AMLO says the document at hand shows “the actions to perform” for each of the cabinet members in 30 different “strategic” districts and that each of them has been assigned “a liaison” within PRI offices.
In districts in which the PRI candidate is an underdog, cabinet members are asked to promote voter absenteeism through a “call center” (sic) the night before the June 4 election. That is, to make phone calls in the wee hours of “D Day” asking those answering the call to vote for Morena’s Delfina Gómez: “That is dirty war,” AMLO accused.
Upon answering, the president’s press secretary Sánchez said that this type of accusations should be filed with “the institutions the nation has for electoral crimes” namely the Electoral Crimes Prosecutor’s Office (FEPADE) to give proper legal course to an accusation as well as the National Electoral Institute (INE) or the Federal Electoral Tribunal (TEPJF).
AMLO too has answer for that.
“They are good for nothing, they don’t see all of this, they are procurers; they look the other way. But in spite of all that, we’re going to win in the State of Mexico by an ample margin.”
At PRI headquarters in Mexico City, national PRI president Enrique Ochoa Reza has consistently and personally been accusing AMLO of stealing election money of over 500 million pesos which only comes to further heat up the fire under the electoral cauldron which over the next two weeks is surely going to come, particularly in the State of Mexico, to a full boil.
It smells of sulphur!