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PRI returns to power in Mexico

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
July 2nd, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Mexican elections officials have announced Enrique Pena Nieto has won election as the new president of Mexico with 37 percent of the vote. Nieto's election will return the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) to power. The PRI enjoyed 70 years of rule over Mexico until losing to the National Action Party in 2000.

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO (Catholic Online) - Nieto took stage behind a podium that read "Mexico won" where he said "I take with great emotion and a great sense of commitment and full responsibility the mandate Mexicans have granted me today."

The PRI has promised changes from the past, and while voters are giving them another chance, it is an opportunity they should not squander. The PRI has a reputation tainted by corruption and authoritarian rule that voters rejected in 2000, and could easily reject again if they find old habits returning. 

However, Nieto is well aware of the concerns and promised this time would be different. "We are a new generation. There is no return to the past. My government will have its vision based in the future," he explained. 

The political climate has changed in Mexico over the past two decades. At one time, the PRI dominated Mexican politics and routinely squashed rivals, permitting virtually no dissent. However, other parties have become strong in their own right and the PRI can no longer silence them. This will compel the new government to listen to opposition voices and make compromises as well as keep itself clean from the taint of corruption. 

Despite the victory speeches, there was some controversy. Leftist candidate, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said the results were too close to call. Orbrador has a history of organizing post-election protests in the past, including large scale demonstrations, sit-ins, and blocking streets and entrances following his 2006 election loss to Felipe Calderon. 

The election is notable not only for the return of the PRI, but also because it has the highest turnout of Mexican voters in history. Many hope this is a new trend that shows  a greater public interest in politics that will drive the government towards reform.

 

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