Our endorsement for Mexico’s presidential election


Mexico goes to the polls tomorrow to choose a new president. While none of the main candidates can be described as “liberal,” we believe that there is one option that, at least, would respect Mexico’s free democratic institutions. That option is Josefina Vázquez Mota, from the conservative National Action Party (PAN), which currently governs Mexico under President Felipe Calderón. Ms. Vázquez Mota is far from ideal and we disagree with her on many issues, but we trust she will respect all Mexicans, regardless of political affiliation and ideology.   

Ms. Vázquez Mota’s main rival and leading candidate according to most polls is Enrique Peña Nieto, from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) which governed Mexico for decades before the PAN came to power in 2000. The PRI’s years in power were marked by authoritarianism and corruption and, despite the message that “the party has changed,” we are far from convinced by that argument. The PRI doesn’t really have an ideology or political philosophy –it has gone from left to right according to the circumstances–, but something’s certain: the PRI has never stood for the liberal values we believe in. The PRI has always used the power of the state to gain more and more power, allying itself to criminals and drug cartels.

The other main candidate fighting for the presidency of Mexico is Andrés Manuel López Obrador, from the left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), who was President Calderón’s main contender six years ago. Mr. López Obrador is a typical exponent of Latin America’s authoritarian, left-wing nationalism. While he’s less radical than Hugo Chávez –at least in his discourse–, he would represent a dangerous turn to the hard left in Latin America’s second largest economy if elected.

In the end, we have three clear choices tomorrow: a return to the old-guard authoritarianism of the PRI, a dangerous turn to the hard left with the PRD, or a moderate conservative government under the PAN. We have no doubt what’s best for Mexico and for its free democratic institutions. If we had a vote in tomorrow’s election, it would go to Ms. Vázquez Mota and her National Action Party.