July Mexican National Election Primer

México is holding national elections on July 1. It is a significant event because México recently combined several national elections into the upcoming election to synchronize all future elections to every six years, with midterms every three years. Additionally, one populist candidate is leading in the polls.

The Date:
July 1, 2018
National elections are held every six years for president. The upcoming election will synchronize future national elections every six years with midterms every three years.

Under the law, a second term is prohibited.

Campaigning for the current election officially started on March 30, 2018

The Presidential Candidates:
There are four candidates for the presidency. Three of the candidates are running under alliances between two, or more parties. One candidate is running as independent after being spurned by the PAN party.

In alphabetical order
1. Ricardo Anaya Cortés
Running under the banner: Por México Al Frente, comprised of the parties: Movimiento Ciudadano, PAN & PRD
2. José Antonio Meade Kuribreña
Running under the banner: Todos Por México, comprised of Alianza Nueva, Partido Verde & PRI
3. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador
Running under the banner: Juntos Haremos Historia, comprised of Encuentro Social, Morena & PT
chose Juárez to launch latest campaign, ran in 2006 and 2012
4. Margarita Zavala, running as an independent, wife of former PAN president, Felipe Calderón

Additionally, 128 senators, five hundred deputies (similar to the U.S. House) and nine state governors, in addition to mayors and other local elections.

The Political Parties:
Unlike in the United States, there are nine parties that have qualified to be recognized as official political parties who hold seats in Congress. Only two parties, the PAN and the PRI have successfully held the presidency. The PRI currently holds the presidency. Parties tend to form coalitions during election season for better access to election resources.

In alphabetical order
1. Encuentro Social – (Christian value-based) Partido Encuentro Social
2. Morena – (left-wing) Movimiento de Regeneración Nacional
3. Movimiento Cuidadano – (left-wing) Movimiento Ciudadano
4. Nueva Alianza – (liberal & labor unions) Partido Nueva Alianza
5. PAN – (center-right) Partido Accional Nacional, was the first party to win a governor’s race from the PRI in 1989. Vicente Fox run as a member of the PAN when he won in 2000.
6. PRD – (left-wing) Partido de la Revolución Democrática
7. PRI – (centrist) Partido Revolucionario Institucional, this party ruled México from 1929 through 2000. It evolved from the generals of the Mexican Revolution.
8. PT, (radical left-wing) Partido del Trabajo
9. Verde, (populist right) Partido Verde Ecologista de México

The Issues:
The primary issues that voters have said they are voting on are:

In alphabetical order
1. Corruption
2. Economy
3. Poverty
4. Violence

Registered Voters:
There are 90 million registered voters, or 72% of Mexican nationals of voting age.
About 69% of the eligible voters are between the ages of 18 and 50 years old.
The average turnout is between 50% and 60%. In the last national election (2012), 63.1% of the registered voters cast a vote.
There are 150,000 registered Mexican voters who are expected to cast a vote from outside of México. Over 78% of them live in the United States.
Internationally, the Mexican elections are generally seen as fair and citizens can freely cast their votes.

Since 2000, when the PAN wrestled control from the PRI, Mexican voters have expelled the ruling party because they are angry at the incumbents for not addressing the national problems.

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