President and PRI survive mid-term test


President Enrique Peña Nieto and his Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) have survived Sunday’s elections albeit because of support for their two parliamentary allies. The President and government have come in for a lot of criticism and accusations of corruption in recent months but a disorganised opposition which failed to tap into general discontent meant that the President has survived this major mid-term test.

Nieto’s PRI took 29.10% of the vote, down from 31.87% in 2012, which means that their seat allocation in the Chamber of Deputies will probably drop from 212 to 199. However their coalition partners the Ecologist Green Party of Mexico (PVEM) went up from 6.08% to 7.06% which should take them up from 29 to 45 seats. In all, the ruling parties along with New Alliance (PNA) are expected to have around the same number of seats as before, around 251 – 254 seats in the 500 seat Chamber of Deputies.

The main loser in this election was the third party, the left-wing Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) whose vote fell from 18.48% in 2012 to 10.81% on Sunday. That means that the PRD could fall to around 55 seats from the 104 seats they had in 2012. Most of their lost vote went to a new left-wing party called the National Regeneration Movement (Morena), a breakaway group from the PRD led by former presidential candidate López Obrador. Morena took 8.43% of the vote and can expect to have about 37 seats in the new parliament.

The main opposition party, the National Action Party (PAN) dropped from 25.92% in 2012 to 20.89% this year but will probably only lose about four seats to take them to 110 seats.

There were also local and gubernatorial elections on Sunday and for the first time independents were allowed to stand. Most media have concentrated on the surprise win of an independent candidate in the northern border state of Nuevo Leon. Known as ‘El Bronco’ the independent Jaime Rodriguez was elected as the new Governor of the state. Independents did well across the country in the local elections.

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