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New Mexican left begins to take shape

August 28, 2012

As Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador continues to cry fraud in the hope that the presidential election is annulled, Mexico’s left has begun to regroup without him.

The Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) has quietly edged away from its two-time candidate, making considerably less noise over the alleged voting fraud than it did after the 2006 election, when disruptive and ultimately counter-productive protests dragged on for months.

Lopez Obrador continues to gather evidence and last week argued that an interim president should be appointed instead of Enrique Peña Nieto. A decision by the Federal Electoral Tribunal (TEPJF) is due by September 6, although it seems unlikely that the election of Peña Nieto will be overturned.

Keen to avoid alienating supporters as it did in 2006, the PRD is already looking to learn from its mistakes and build for the future. Analyzing the electoral defeat, the PRD’s National Council identified “the lack of unity around the common goal of winning elections – not just the presidential election  — by the allied parties and Morena [Lopez Obrador’s National Regeneration Movement].” So with the aim of uniting the left in preparation for the 2018 presidential election, representatives of the PRD, Labor Party (PT) and Citizen’s Movement met in Acapulco last week to create a new alliance, the Broad Front of the Mexican Left.

Former Mayor of Mexico City Marcelo Ebrard gave a speech announcing the new front, while Lopez Obrador was conspicuous by his absence.  A less controversial figure than his predecessor, Ebrard will need to quickly smooth over any potential rift with Lopez Obrador while reaching out to the millions of Mexicans fed up with decades of corruption and violence under PRI and PAN rule.

If the left could create a broader alliance with existing social movements like Javier Sicilia’s Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity and the #YoSoy132 student movement it could become a force with strong grassroots support.

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