Monday, June 22, 2009

PRD conflicts

The PRD, Mexico's ostensibly left-center political party, continued to self
destruct this week as party bosses fought over the official candidate in
Iztapalapa, Mexico City's largest barrio with 6 million inhabitants. You'll
remember the PRD as the party that was unable to organize clean internal
elections last year. Two party factions have been battling ever since for
control of lucrative posts and federal funds. In anticipation of this
summer's mid-term elections, the factions agreed to a tentative peace, but a
fight over control of the huge Iztapalapa delegation broke the agreement in
spectacular form. Long time party hack and "New Left" leader Rene Arce
wants his wife, Silvia Oliva, to run the delegation, while the "United
Left," aligned with former presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez
Obrador, prefers Clara Brugada. Internal PRD organs controlled by the
United Left gave Brugada the candidacy, but Oliva challenged the decision in
Mexico City's Electoral Tribunal, a state agency with heavy PAN influence,
where she was awarded the official candidacy this week. Now Lopez Obrador
is asking the electorate to vote for the Workers Party candidate, who would
turn the post over to Brugada if he wins the election. Party officials are
threatening to expel Lopez Obrador from the PRD for supporting a rival party
- but not until after the elections. Apparently the appearance of "party
unity" is more important than a nasty battle over the widely popular Lopez
Obrador's status. If this all seems impossibly complicated, imagine what
voters will have to sort out in July, or what the Mexican public has to face
every day as the political class literally disintegrates before their eyes.

From the Mexico Solidarity Network news bulletin, June 15-21

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