Thursday, June 7, 2012
Peña Nieto rejects YoSoy debate demand
PRI presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto has rejected yesterday's demand by the national student movement known as YoSoy132 to participate in a final political debate on June 19. The three other candidates accepted the challenge today, and said they look forward to participating in what will be their last joint appearance before the July 1 election.
Peña Nieto's refusal was reported this morning by the Milenio news network, which earlier interviewed a spokesman for YoSoy who confirmed that the candidate had declined. The PRI campaign gave no immediate explanation for its nominee's rejection. Peña Nieto has promised that he'll "consider all voices," including those of students and young people, if he's elected.
The group plans to accept questions for the presidential candidates via the internet during the debate. Students will moderate the event, which is independent of two debates hosted by Mexico's federal electoral commission. The last of those will be this Sunday, May 10.
YoSoy 132 representatives said this evening that their debate will go on, with or without EPN, but they hope he will reconsider (#YoSoy132 asegura que el tercer debate se realizará con o sin Peña Nieto).
Update/Analysis: Late today the PRI campaign issued a brief statement saying that Peña Nieto had declined to appear at the June 19 debate because YoSoy 132 is hostile to his candidacy. See posts below for more on that topic.
While I agree with Peña Nieto's evaluation of YoSoy, I think it was a poor strategic decision to boycott the debate. Politicians have to deal with hostile audiences all the time; that goes with the territory. If EPN can't deal with a few hundred angry students, how will he lead a nation of 110 million? Peña Nieto should march into the debate on June 19, and show the country he's not afraid of anybody. Participating can only help him, and staying away will only hurt him. His opponents are going to unload on him, and he'll not be there to refute them. Someone on the PRI team made a bad call on this. EPN needs to show Mexico that he has the cojones to be president. His refusal to attend the event suggests he really is a scripted candidate.
June 19 - Peña Nieto tells YoSoy why he won't participate: http://www.milenio.com/cdb/doc/noticias2011/2e6ad9e6ff8b914eee2a3ba8fba78ccc.
U.K.'s Guardian reveals Televisa-EPN deal: http://mexicogulfreporter.blogspot.mx/2012/06/uks-guardian-reveals-televisa-pri-deal.html.
YoSoy 132 demands final debate between Mexican presidential candidates: http://mexicogulfreporter.blogspot.mx/2012/06/yosoy-132-demands-final-debate-between.html#more.
Mexicans surveyed on YoSoy 132 attitudes: http://mexicogulfreporter.blogspot.mx/2012/06/mexicans-surveyed-on-yosoy-132.html
YoSoy 132 returns to Mérida streets, this time showing its true colors: http://mexicogulfreporter.blogspot.mx/2012/06/yosoy-132-returns-to-merida-streets.html#more
"YoSoy 132" protest arrives in Mérida: http://mexicogulfreporter.blogspot.mx/2012/05/yosoy-132-protest-arrives-in-merida.html.
The Old Guard's worst nightmare: Andrés Manuel López Obrador: http://mexicogulfreporter.blogspot.mx/2012/06/old-guards-worst-nightmare-andres.html.
Vicente Fox, a PRIsta in very thin disguise: http://mexicogulfreporter.blogspot.mx/2012/06/vicente-fox-prista-in-very-thin.html.
at 12:03 PM