5 reasons that make presidential elections in Mexico historic

Some believe that the presidential elections of this 2018 in Mexico are the most important since 1910.

That year, the reelection of then President Porfirio Diaz provoked the Mexican Revolution, which caused the death of a million people and changed the life of the country.

Others, on the other hand, see the current elections as a very close competition, as seldom in decades.

But in what almost all agree is that this July 1, when Mexicans choose the successor or successor of President Enrique Peña Nieto, it is a process that had not happened in almost a century.

Although they have some months in tours of the country, officially the campaign begins this April 1.

It is the final stretch of a process where there are unpublished topics, such as the participation of independent candidates or the first time vote of 11 million young people.

BBC Mundo presents five elements that make the 2018 presidential election in Mexico historic.

1 . Giant election

There are four candidates in dispute for the government of Mexico: Margarita Zavala , former member of the National Action Party (PAN) and who presents herself as independent.

Jose Antonio Meade , nominated by the All for Mexico coalition formed by the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), along with the Nueva Alianza (PANAL) and Green Ecologist of Mexico (PVEM) parties.

Ricardo Anaya , from the Por Mexico al Frente coalition created by the parties of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), Movimiento Ciudadano (MC) and PAN, also contends .

And the last contender is Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador , from the Together We Make History coalition formed by the National Regeneration Movement (Morena), with the Labor parties (PT) and Social Encounter (PES).

On July 1, in addition to electing president, Mexicans will vote for candidates for governors, a head of government, mayors, councilors, aldermen, municipal boards, syndicates, senators and local and federal deputies.

According to the National Electoral Institute (INE) there are 18,311 public positions in dispute, the first time so many are elected in a single process.

There are other numbers. The nominal list of voters is 89 million people, the highest in history.

Since last October, when the electoral period began and until July 1, it is estimated that about 60 million messages from the candidates will be broadcast on radio and television.

A huge process, and also expensive. According to the INE, the money to finance political parties, the organization of the elections and the spending of the electoral authorities will be almost 33,000 million pesos.

Some US $ 1,800 million , not counting the cost that candidates make with private financing.

2. The time on the left?

In the presidential contest of 2018, the name that is most repeated in traditional media and internet networks is Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

For example, a poll conducted by GLAC-Pulso on the Internet of the newspaper El Financiero reveals that between March 17 and 23, Lopez Obrador had almost 690,000 references on the Internet.

Of the four presidential candidates is the most mentioned in social networks. And it shows in the surveys.

Since the middle of 2017 practically all the measurements on the intention of vote place as pointer the candidate of Together We Will Do History.

It is not the first time that Lopez Obrador leads electoral polls, since in the 2006 presidential campaign he started as a favorite but officially lost the race.

Now political analysts like Sergio Sarmiento see a different scenario. “If he does not make mistakes, he has the presidency secure, because he will not be outdone” by his opponents, he told the newspaper Reforma.

An advantage of the candidate in this contest is that some of his former adversaries are on his team.

And it also maintains a new attitude: unlike campaigns like 2006, now Lopez Obrador tries to get away from controversies.

His message is, they say, “of love and peace.”

3. A ghost reappears

A taboo subject in Mexico, since it was banned in 1933, returns in the current elections.

It is about reelection, which for decades remained foreign to the political discussion, until 2014 when the electoral laws changed. This year, mayors, deputies and senators are allowed to fight in the campaign to occupy the same position again. They are, for now, the only ones authorized to do so.

But unlike places like the United States, where legislators can be re-elected for decades even, in Mexico it is only allowed for a maximum of 12 years.

However, there are few candidates for re-election .

Of the thousands of positions in dispute, a few dozen will once again seek the votes of their constituents.

The final number will be known in the coming weeks when the INE finishes reviewing the files of the pre-candidates.

4. The drama of the “independents”

For 66 years in Mexico, the only way to participate in an election was with the backing of a political party.

Independent candidates were banned in 1946 by then-President Manuel Avila Camacho.

Since then there have been some attempts by citizens to contest the elections, but their participation was declared illegal.

The lock was opened with the electoral reform of 2012. This year 48 people registered as independent candidates for the country’s presidency.

To contend they had to obtain the support of at least 866.593 people with the right to vote, to whom their voter card was scanned with an INE App.

In the end, only three candidates reached the goal because they delivered almost double the necessary support:

  • The governor with license of Nuevo Leon Jaime Rodriguez, “El Bronco”;
  • former Armando Rios Pitter, “El Jaguar”,
  • Margarita Zavala, wife of former president Felipe Calderon.

All three, by the way, were militants of political parties before presenting themselves as “independent” .

But the first two were disqualified. The INE rejected most of the support from “El Bronco” and “El Jaguar” because they were false.

And although Calderon’s wife was rejected by irregular 45% of their support, those that were left were barely enough to validate their registration.

The decision of the INE caused controversy. Many, like the activist Maria Elena Morera, president of the organization Causa en Comun, asked to disqualify the candidate.

“Margarita Zavala cheated, although it reached him, it was a shame this process,” he wrote on Twitter.

5. The “Millennial” scale

They can define the fate of the presidential election. There are 12 million young people who will vote for the first time this July 1.

According to specialists, their participation can be fundamental, not only because of the number they represent, but also because most do not have a specific political preference.

According to academics such as Macarita Elizondo, of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), it is in this part of the population where the parties and electoral authorities must concentrate their attention.

And an additional element: most of these first-time voters may be oblivious to the disqualifications among the candidates.

One example is the accusation against Lopez Obrador that if he wins the elections, he would apply a government similar to that of the controversial former president Luis Echeverría (1970-1976).

During this period, the country suffered the beginning of a serious political crisis that began to be overcome two decades later.

But the name of the exmandatario is not told to the young people, say analysts Ana Paula Ordorica.

“Frightening that Lopez Obrador implies the return of Echeverria is talking about something they do not understand” these voters, he wrote in the newspaper El Universal.

The presidential candidates, then, need the faithful of these young people to tip the electoral balance for them.

 

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