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Enrique Pena Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, declared himself the winner of Sunday’s presidential election after a quick count by Mexico’s electoral authorities gave him a clear lead…
“Mexicans have given our party another chance. We are going to honor it with results,” a visibly moved Pena Nieto told followers packed inside the PRI headquarters in Mexico City, where confetti rained down on jubilant supporters…
Pena Nieto will take over at a time when Mexico’s finances are in good order and the economy is beginning to improve, although it still cannot generate enough work for the growing population.
Although the PRI earned a reputation for unscrupulous and often corrupt politics when it ruled between 1929 and 2000, its 71-year stranglehold on power allowed it to sell itself in this campaign as the party that best knows how to govern. Sound familiar?
And its candidate, renowned as much for his unfailingly well-groomed appearance as his political skills, persuaded many voters that his party has learned the lessons of its past…
To his critics, Pena Nieto is a product created by Mexico’s main television companies to serve as a proxy for the country’s biggest businesses and the ruling elites in the PRI.
Analysts say Pena Nieto will be challenged to keep the PRI clean, even if he is not already compromised by the deals he had to make to win the support of party barons.
Wary of becoming bogged down in a drug war that has dominated Calderon’s presidency, Pena Nieto says he will put more emphasis on reducing violent crime than on targeting drug barons…”The fight against crime will continue, yes, with a new strategy to reduce violence and above all protect the lives of all Mexicans.”
Mexicans have learned to believe like Americans in the two-party [or two-and-a-half-party] solution. They’ve turned this weekend from the merely inept back to the crew who designed and engineered decades of corruption.
Local politicians, police departments, purveyors of goods to government – are lining up to share in a phony Bush-style mandate. The drug gangs will return to quasi-contracts governing passage of drugs through to the U.S..
Who knows? Maybe the Republicans will acquire significant gains in our own elections this autumn and the flow of guns into Mexico won’t even be required to check in at a waypoint while crossing the border. Cross-border commerce can move smoothly ahead to the new normal.