Home Headlines PRI leans to outside candidate Antonio Meade to save presidency

PRI leans to outside candidate Antonio Meade to save presidency

by sanmigueltimes
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The threat of losing power to a fierce leftwing rival next year is tempting Mexico’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) to enlist outside help for the first time in its nine-decade history.

Corruption scandals, sluggish growth, failure to curb gang violence and persistent allegations of electoral fraud have seriously eroded the centrist party’s already rocky reputation ahead of the July 2018 presidential election.

That has opened the door to Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a leftist former mayor of Mexico City and twice runner-up for the presidency who has set the early pace with a relentless campaign against government corruption.

The PRI’s presidential hopefuls can begin registering on Dec. 3 and many officials believe Jose Antonio Meade, currently finance minister, will be chosen in a bid to detoxify its brand.


A fixture in the Cabinet across two rival administrations, Meade has no formal party affiliation and has distinguished himself as a discreet and diplomatic public servant with a grasp of finance and economics matched by few in Mexico.

More importantly, he has avoided the damaging scandals that have engulfed the PRI under President Enrique Pena Nieto, who cannot seek a second six-year term.

Heriberto Galindo, a senior PRI politician, said Meade’s probity and economic savvy make him an ideal choice at a time of nagging uncertainty for Mexico due to U.S. President Donald Trump’s threats to ditch the NAFTA trade deal.

“The Mexican public’s main social concerns are corruption and impunity, and Jose Antonio Meade has a reputation for being honorable and honest, and he is honorable and honest,” Galindo said. “That’s why I think he should be the candidate.”

The PRI said on Thursday that the party’s candidate would be elected by a national convention on Feb. 18. By then, the candidate may be obvious.


Click here for full article on REUTERS


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