Monday, September 19, 2011
Mexico´s first female president?
Mexico has never had a female candidate for president, but increasingly women have expressed interest in the job. Several weeks ago the Yucatan´s governor Ivonne Ortega Pacheco said the time is ripe (http://mexicogulfreporter-supplement.blogspot.com/2011/11/governor-ortega-for-president.html). But Ortega won't be seeking the presidency herself. Early indications are that she may support a leading male candidate, with the hope of eventually serving in his administration.
Josefina Vázquez Mota is a woman who has expressed interest in the job. She belongs to PAN, the somewhat right-of-center National Action Party headed by Mexico´s current president, Felipe Calderon. She is a former Secretary of Public Education under president Felipe Calderón, and before that Secretary of Social Development under former president Vicente Fox. Mota is probably a long shot candidate.
In Mexico there are no formal primary elections. Candidates are chosen by the internal party machinery and by power-brokers. Call it politics Chicago-style, as in the days of the Richard Daley machine. But Mota is urging her fellow party functionaries to abandon the old system, and to replace it with a very public and open selection of a party standard bearer. ¨We should put our democratic values to the test" in this primary process, said Mota in a press conference yesterday (September 18).
"I believe that an open (primary) process will modernize our party, rebuild it so that it´s more in tune with the citizenry and enable us to select a candidate with powerful leadership skills who is ready for the road ahead in 2012," added Mota. "An open election will give voice to citizens."
PAN´s president has already formally asked the party´s Executive Committee to consider changes which would open primaries to greater "public input." In her press conference Mota said that she has been invited by several PAN leaders to make a political tour of the country, which she plans to do. Mota said she will not be deterred by security risks.
at 9:33 AM