Resignation of Energy Secretary Felipe Calderon Complicates President Vicente Fox's Efforts to Push for Energy Reforms
President Vicente Fox suffered a major setback in his efforts to push through major energy reforms this year following the contentious resignation of Energy Secretary Felipe Calderon Hinojosa.
Calderon replaced Ernesto Martens in September 2003, after a brief term as director of the government lender Banco Nacional de Obras y Servicios (BANOBRAS). Calderon left his post as floor leader for the center-right Partido Accion Nacional (PAN) in the Chamber of Deputies just a few months earlier to take the BANOBRAS post.
Fox tapped Calderon to head the Secretaria de Energia (SENER) with the specific goal of helping push his energy reforms through Congress (see SourceMex, 2003-09-03). The president considered Calderon's position valuable because of his cordial relations with Congress, especially members of the former governing Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI).
Calderon clashes with President Fox over 2006 candidacy
Calderon, however, also had his eyes on a potential bid to be his party's presidential candidate in 2006. He had hinted of his presidential ambitions but never formally announced his intentions to seek the nomination. This changed at a rally in Guadalajara in late May, when he accepted the endorsement of 4,000 PAN supporters in Jalisco state.
The PAN leadership, including Fox, was angered by Calderon's acceptance of the endorsement, which it said amounted to a formal declaration of candidacy and a violation of the party's pledge not to jump into the presidential race until at least 2005.
"It seems to me that it was more than just ill considered to have held this campaign-type event," Fox said. "I think it was both out of place and the wrong time."
The problem was that Fox did not communicate his criticism directly to Calderon, but made the comments during an interview with reporters. The energy secretary learned …
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Publication information: Article title: Resignation of Energy Secretary Felipe Calderon Complicates President Vicente Fox's Efforts to Push for Energy Reforms. Contributors: Not available. Magazine title: SourceMex Economic News & Analysis on Mexico. Publication date: June 2, 2004. Page number: Not available. © 2009 Latin American Data Base/Latin American Institute. COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group.
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