The Presidential Election in Mexico

The World and I, September 2000 | Go to article overview

The Presidential Election in Mexico


Mexico's message

UNITED STATES--The decision by the Mexican electorate to throw out the longest lived one-party state can justly be called historic. It does not mean the end of the road for one-party states so long as communist rule survives in mainland China. But it marks a big step along the way.

The end of 71 years of rule by Mexico's Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) certainly invites the question whether similar forces might disturb one-party regimes elsewhere. Their futures may not be exactly the same. Yet what has happened there suggests that this form of government has become increasingly out of place.

--Financial Times

July 4, 2000

Mexico's democratic breakthrough

UNITED STATES--Never before in the memory of living Mexicans has presidential power passed peacefully to an opposition party. But just such a transition is now underway, following the decisive victory of Vicente Fox Quesada and his center-right National Action Party, or PAN, in the Mexican elections. It is a great advance for democracy in Latin America's second-largest country and Washington's second-biggest trading partner. ...

Mr. Fox will not take office until December 1. Past presidential transitions have been marred by economic turmoil. In 1994, the administration of Carlos Salinas failed to coordinate its financial policies with Mr. Zedillo's incoming team, badly undermining international confidence in the peso. The result was a painful recession, which cost Mexico dearly. Mr. Zedillo should draw the appropriate lesson from that experience. Having given Mexico its cleanest elections ever, he can make a further contribution by working closely with Mr. Fox and his advisers through the crucial months ahead.

--New York Times

July 4, 2000

Mexico's triumph

UNITED STATES--The victory of opposition candidate Vicente Fox in Mexico's presidential election ranks as one of the most hopeful political developments in Latin America since the end of the Cold War. For the past 71 years, Mexico has been dominated by the [PRI]. In the 20th century, only the Communist Party of the Soviet Union maintained a monopoly on power for a comparable period. Though never in the Soviet league of brutality, the PRI-run state that novelist Mario Vargas Llosa called "the perfect dictatorship" was authoritarian and corrupt.

The PRI made a science of co-opting opponents and buying votes. Now, however, PRI rule has been swept aside, in a peaceful, legitimate process that appears to guarantee that one undeniable PRI achievement-- political stability--will endure. Mexico's triumph injects badly needed momentum into Latin American democratization, at a time when Peru, Colombia and Venezuela show signs of going the other way.

--Washington Post

July 4, 2000

Democracy comes to mexico

UNITED STATES--Mexico City's Zocalo, the capital's massive central square, exploded in celebration as Mexicans realized Vicente Fox would break the [PRI's] 71-year hold on power. However, it was Mr. Fox's election that was revolutionary, as the candidate for the conservative [PAN].

Under the PRI's reign, corruption spread to every public institution. By voting for a PAN candidate, Mexicans protested the PRI's history of fraud, graft and indifference. Ridding Mexico of this infrastructure of corruption will be Mr. Fox's greatest challenge, and he must work to break up monopolies established in sweetheart deals between PRI politicians and their cronies. Much of Mexico's machinery of corruption is financed by the violent narcotics industry, which has blighted economic development for years. Some studies show that crime costs Mexico 9 percent of its gross domestic product a year.

--Washington Times

July 5, 2000

Political transition

MEXICO--After the victory of the opposition in the presidential elections, it should be noted that for a political transition to go through the appropriate course it should not depend on a single person or political party. …

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