Unpopular Ruling Party Scrambles to Hold Onto Power in Mexico

8/7/2017 Bloomberg

Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto and first lady Angelica Rivera salute during the military parade celebrating Independence Day at the Zocalo square in downtown Mexico CityA year is a long time in politics. But for the task confronting Mexico’s ruling party — to recover from rock bottom approval ratings and retain the presidency — it may not be long enough.

That’s why there’s a sense of urgency about the party’s national assembly taking place in five states this week. After ruling Mexico for most of the past century, the PRI has lost two of the past three presidential elections.

Now, a furious debate is under way about how to pull off a comeback win in the presidential vote in July 2018. Should the party bring in a candidate from outside its ranks, untainted by its perceived failures in curbing violence and graft? Or nominate one of its own — if it can find someone not marked by corruption scandals that have engulfed many of its elected officials?

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