May 22, 2013
Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto’s reform agenda that includes legislation to end the monopoly of state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos faces delays due to a shake-up in the former ruling party’s leadership.
Former President Felipe Calderon’s National Action Party, or PAN, yesterday ousted former Finance Minister Ernesto Cordero from the Senate party leadership. The decision erodes the political consensus parties have built in congress, complicating the economic reform agenda, according to IdeaGlobal and Javier Oliva, a political scientist at Mexico’s National Autonomous University.
May 21, 2013
Los Angeles Times, 5/20/2013
A dramatic rupture in Mexico’s main opposition political party has aired the group’s dirty laundry and also could trip up President Enrique Peña Nieto’s ambitious agenda of reform. The political fireworks riveted Mexicans on Monday, dominating airwaves and social media as leaders of the National Action Party, or PAN, bickered openly.
On one level, citizens were viewing another chapter in the agony of a party that ruled for the last 12 years but has been corroded by infighting and a bitter power struggle. Also at stake, potentially, was the ease with which Peña Nieto has been getting legislation through a fairly compliant Congress. PAN chair Gustavo Madero over the weekend unceremoniously fired his party’s caucus leader in the Senate, Ernesto Cordero. Cordero will remain in the Senate, even continuing to hold his title of Senate president, but will no longer be the party’s go-to man.
May 10, 2013
The Economist, 5/9/2013
On May 7th Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico’s president, showed off some of the fancy political footwork that days before had earned him the gushing endorsement of his first visiting head of state, Barack Obama. Flanked in the National Palace by leaders of Mexico’s three main political parties, he resurrected an ambitious reform programme that a scandal in his Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) had threatened to derail.
Notwithstanding finger-wagging by opposition leaders, Mr Peña persuaded them to restart a tri-party political pact that is the crown jewel of his five-month-old administration. On May 8th the pact was put into action when the government sent a package of bills to Congress to increase bank lending and competition. Next it hopes to liberalise the state-strangled oil industry and raise taxes broadly. Eventually, as Mr Obama succinctly put it, the aim is for Mexicans to make it through each day without paying a bribe.
May 8, 2013
The Wall Street Journal, 5/7/2013
Mexico’s government and opposition leaders signed an agreement Tuesday to prevent the use of federal antipoverty programs in support of candidates in coming local elections, a condition demanded by the opposition to continue backing the reform agenda of President Enrique Pena Nieto. The deal, signed at a public event at the National Palace, promises to end a political dispute that in recent weeks threatened to derail the so-called Pact for Mexico, an unprecedented accord between the government and opposition to secure legislative support for key economic and structural overhauls.
Tuesday’s agreement was added to the pact, a 34-page document outlining 95 commitments to bolster Mexico’s competitiveness, agreed in December by Mr. Pena Nieto, the conservative National Action Party, or PAN, and the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD. The Congress has already passed overhauls of the education and telecommunications sectors drawn up under the pact, raising expectations among Mexicans and foreign investors that the country can approve long-postponed reforms. A financial sector proposal to bring about more and cheaper bank lending, postponed in late April due to the political dispute, is now expected to be presented as early as Wednesday.
April 25, 2013
Financial Times, 4/24/13
Mexico’s four-month-old administration on Wednesday appeared to overcome its first political crisis after opposition leaders said that they had largely settled their differences with the government. The agreement, which came after an emergency meeting of party heads, appears to put the government’s economic reform back on track in a turnaround that will doubtless ease investor concerns.
Billions of dollars have flowed into Mexico in recent months on hopes that centrist President Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party will push a series of reforms aimed at transforming Latin America’s second-largest economy into a more vibrant emerging market.
April 24, 2013
Los Angeles Times, 4/23/13
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Tuesday faced the most serious political crisis of his young government, an explosive dispute with rival parties over electoral dirty tricks that could imperil his ambitious reform plans. Peña Nieto’s highly touted Pact for Mexico, a kind of blueprint for his administration’s agenda that had seemed to have won consensus from most major political groups, was on the verge of collapse after fresh reports of vote-buying by the president’s Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI.
The government was forced to cancel a series of public events under the auspices of the Pact for Mexico to avoid the embarrassment of a boycott by the main opposition factions. The first casualty would appear to be a broad reform to overhaul Mexico’s financial sector, which was scheduled to be unveiled Tuesday.
March 7, 2013
Mexico’s phone and television markets, long dominated by Carlos Slim and his rivals, are facing a game-changing shakeup that could be announced in days, according to one of the political leaders tasked with drafting the reform. “This (reform) changes the whole board game,” Gustavo Madero, chairman of the conservative opposition National Action Party (PAN), told Reuters in an interview.
The leaders of President Enrique Pena Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and Mexico’s two main opposition parties are currently preparing the telecoms reform, which should be brought to Congress in days, not weeks, Madero said.
March 1, 2013
The Mexico Institute’s “Weekly News Summary,” released every Friday afternoon summarizes the week’s most prominent Mexico headlines published in the English-language press, as well as the most engaging opinion pieces by Mexican columnists.
What the English-language press had to say…
This week, Elba Esther Gordillo, the powerful leader of the SNTE, Mexico’s teachers’ union was arrested for allegedly embezzling over $150 million in union funds to support her lavish lifestyle. The arrest shocked the nation and came only a day after President Enrique Peña Nieto signed into law a new education reform package. Many interpreted the move as an attempt by the Peña Nieto administration to reassert state authority over special interests, and as a warning to other industries (e.g. telecommunications and energy) that reform is on the way. NYT columnist Thomas Friedman gave much to talk about following two very optimistic pieces. He suggested Mexico will become a dominant economic power in the 21st century, and praised Mexico’s young ‘just do it’ generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. Pemex CEO Emilio Lozoya mirrored Mr. Friedman’s optimism by suggesting a reinvigorated energy sector will transform Mexico into the world’s “new Middle East.” Meanwhile, north of the border, looming automatic budget cuts prompted ICE to release several hundred low-risk immigrants from deportation centers across the country.
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December 12, 2012
We are pleased to announce the launch of our new opinion column “The Expert Take” which will feature original analysis and commentary from guest contributors featured exclusively on the Mexico Portal. We invite you to check back frequently for updates to this column.
By Roderic Ai Camp, 12/12/2012
During the era of the pre-democratic PRI in Mexico there existed a long history of national political pacts. Those pacts typically were between the PRI dominated executive branch and the two most influential actors, labor unions and business organizations. In the 1990s, at the highpoint of the democratic transition, the PRI for the first time in its history lost its ability to ensure a two-thirds vote in the legislative branch, preventing it from accomplishing constitutional changes. Consequently, the PRI began negotiating with the opposition; in exchange for support on some legislative initiatives, it agreed to electoral legislation which paved the way for the 2000 electoral victory of PAN. Read the rest of this entry »