Friday, March 5, 2010

Dzidzantún / México / Political Conditions

President Felipe Calderon of the PAN was elected in 2006 in an extremely tight race, with a margin of less than one percent separating his vote total from that of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador ("AMLO") of the left-of-center Democratic Revolution Party (PRD). AMLO contested the results of the election, alleging that it was marred by widespread fraud. Mexico's Federal Electoral Tribunal, while acknowledging the presence of randomly-distributed irregularities, rejected AMLO's accusation of widespread fraud and upheld Calderon's victory on September 5, 2006.

President Calderon’s National Action Party (PAN) currently is the largest party in the Senate but lost that status in the Chamber of Deputies as a result of the July 2009 elections. The PRI gained a de facto majority in those elections in which every Chamber of Deputies seat was up for vote. Although the PRI does not control the presidency or a majority in the Senate, it is a significant force in Mexican politics, holding 19 governorships and often playing a pivotal role in forming coalitions in Congress. The next national elections--for the president, all 128 seats in the Senate and all 500 seats in the Chamber of Deputies--will take place in July 2012. In 2010, 12 governorships will be up for election.

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