Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Andrés Manuel López Obrador is PRD's 2012 presidential candidate
"A divided left can only lead to failure, and I won't be the one who takes us down that course," said Ebrard. "Andrés Manuel can count on my full support as we go forward to build a better future for Mexico."
PRD is often characterized as a populist, far left of center party, and the Mexican press generally refers to López Obrador as the "leftist candidate." The legitimacy of both denominations might be debated, given what leftist usually implies in Latin American politics. Earlier this month PRD entered into an alliance with two similarly focused political organizations, the Workers Party and the Citizens Movement. The broad coalition is expected to register with Mexico's federal electoral commission this week.
López Obrador, 58 and a native of Tabasco state, was governor of Mexico's Federal District from 2000-2005. Ebrard served in his administration, later replacing him in that office. The men had agreed before the preference polling that they would abide by the preliminary results, both to avoid party infighting and to begin preparing for what will likely be a difficult race next year.
In 2006, López Obrador ran as the PRD candidate against current Mexican president Felipe Calderón, and lost by just one-half of one percent of the votes cast. Some continue to allege election fraud, calling López Obrador "the legitimate president of Mexico."
Today the PRD nominee was full of praise for Ebrard as the two displayed unity at a press conference. "He's placed the desires of thousands of voters ahead of his own legitimate political aspirations, so that the left will be united, and so that a transformation can occur within (Mexican) political life," said López Obrador.
A Milenio network poll this evening (Nov. 15) poll shows that Mexicans are closely divided on whether López Obrador can win the election. Fifty percent of respondents say he can, while 47% say no. The poll is non-scientific. Ebrard has said that PRD's main competition in 2012 will come from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), and not from the considerably more conservative National Action Party (PAN). Enrique Peña Nieto almost certainly will be PRI's candidate next year, but the PAN preliminary contest is far from over.
Most agree that to win in 2012, PRD must appeal to a broad group of moderate, independent voters. Almost 30% of likely Mexican voters identify themselves as supporters of leftist politics, and about 22% can be counted on to cast ballots for López Obrador. But he will need to capture many millions of centrist and nonaligned voters to win next year.
More on López Obrador: http://mexicogulfreporter.blogspot.com/2011/09/could-this-man-be-next-president-of.html.
More on Mexican political parties: http://mexicogulfreporter-supplement.blogspot.com/2011/11/mexicos-2012-presidential-election-364.html.
at 2:42 PM