Thursday, July 06, 2006

After 4 days, Mexico knows who'll be the next President

Mexico lived this last Sunday an intensive electoral activity as it was time to choose who will be the president for the next six years.
The race was pretty close between two candidates: Felipe Calderón (left picture), representing the Partido Acción Nacional (or PAN, meaning National Action Party), which has a right-wing philosophy; and Andrés Manuel López Obrador (right picture) from the Partido de la Revolución Democrática (or PRD, meaning Democratic Revolution Party), a left wing party. These elections would define the course of Mexico's economy and politics for the 2006-2012 period, and a very close margin between the winner and the loser was predicted.
The National Electoral Institute finally published today the results of such votation, being Calderón the winner by a margin of less than 1% of all the votes. However, López Obrador has shown inconformity with the results and he will go to court against the Electoral Institute and the PAN, as he says that "many irregularities took place during the vote-counting process".
But what I think is that López Obrador is a politician that does not accept to lose, even when the process was absolutely clean indeed as many international observers, parties' representatives and citizens took part of it by counting votes and verifying that the process is clean and legal. In fact, this left-wing leader is often seen as a person closely related to the Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez, and it was feared that he would rule Mexico the same way as Hugo Chávez does in his own country, as both's political ideals and strategies are supposedly focused on the masses, poverty, and unfairness.
Sadly for López Obrador, while he was Mayor in Mexico City, such city experienced a rise in delinquency, pollution, poverty and corruption levels, so if he was elected president, maybe the situation of the country would be badly harmed. Therefore, I think that Mexico took the right decision by choosing Calderón, as he represents a continuity in the country: the economic, political and social situation will follow the steps taken by President Fox's government, with an economic stability and continuing growth.
However, Calderón will have to be aware that almost half of the Mexican voters didn't support him, and this will represent a challenge to unify the country to follow a single path (being inclusive with López Obrador's followers as well). And for this, he'll need the Congress' help, which fortunately for him, will have more representants of his party than from any other, but having no majority.
Congratulations to Felipe Calderón and the whole Mexican Republic, may this new cycle bring prosperous and stable times for the country.


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