Inside Story Americas: The importance of Mexico’s elections

Al Jazeera, 2/4/12

On July 1, 2012 Mexicans will go to the polls to choose a new president, new senators and federal deputies – and if opinion polls are to be believed, possibly a new governing party.  A major election issue is the country’s crackdown against organised crime which is now in its sixth year.

It has caused violence to flare in states that are on the drug route to the US and more than 50,000 people have been killed since 2006. With an increasing inequality between rich and poor, the economy is another big election issue.Due to political paralysis, President Felipe Calderon has been unable to push through some reforms which many consider necessary, such as liberalising the labour market.

There are three main parties which have candidates running in the election. First of all there is the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which ruled Mexico as a one-party-state for most of the last century but lost power in 2000. Its candidate for 2012 is Enrique Pena Nieto, who is a former governor of Mexico State.

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