Por Katia Monteagudo
Mexico, July 31 (PL) While most Mexican political forces have not yet defined their contenders for the presidential race, seven politicians of the ruling National Action Party (PAN) are vying for its candidature in the 2012 elections.
According to PAN’s chairman Gustavo Madero, each candidate must decide whether or not to step down.
Although Madero maintains that reducing the number of candidates would help to strengthen the candidacy as a political force in the presidential race, none of the candidates seems willing to give up their aspiration to be the face of the PAN in those elections.
“When there are fewer choices, support is more focused, but we cannot compel anyone to decline,” he points out.
And so, Deputy Josefina Vázquez Mota, Senator Creel Miranda and the governor of Jalisco, Emilio González Márquez, are still in the race.
Moreover, there are four ministers of President Felipe Calderón who are contenders: Ernesto Cordero, Secretary of the Treasury; Alonso Lujambio, Education; Javier Lozano, Labor and Social Security; and Heriberto Félix Guerra, Social Development.
Creel was the first aspirant to ask for permission to leave his post in order to become a PAN candidate in the presidential elections.
Among the seven in contention, the governor of Jalisco was the only one who said that if PAN decided to choose its candidate before the Pan-American Games in Guadalajara next October, he would certainly resign his nomination.
González Márquez thinks that seven candidates are too many for an internal contest within the PAN, which is not in good standing, according to the outcome of the polls in the State of Mexico, regarded as the laboratory for presidential elections.
In those elections, held on July 3, PAN’s candidate Luis Felipe Bravo Mena was third in the polls, with a difference of more than 50 percentage points as compared to Eruviel Ávila, winner for the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).
According to data by the State’s Electoral Institute (Edomex), that day has been the worst for PAN since 2000.
From that year up to now, the white-and-blue party underwent a low in voter preferences in the State of Mexico, until cracking definitively in these last elections, where there are more than 10 and a half million registered electors.
Although in 2005 it had won 24.73 percent of votes there, with Rubén Mendoza Ayala as a candidate, by 2009 PAN started to show its full decline in that state, when it lost 12 out of 24 municipalities.
Even though at the party’s general conference, held last weekend, Madero Muñoz stressed that a very large number of candidates does not help to give the party competitive power, they will await until October to choose the definitive candidate.
Meanwhile, the seven contenders will keep on struggling against one another, although their opponents in the PRI and the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) are taking things more calmly, and their selection process seems to be a big difference in the contest for president in 2012.