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New Progressive Movement aims to unite Mexican left

July 22, 2013

Former Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard launched his new Progressive Movement on Saturday as a platform for an expected bid for the presidency in the 2018 elections.

The movement will enjoy the support of the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), with party chairman Jesus Zambrano welcoming its formation at the inaugural event. Ebrard said he will serve as chairman of the Progressive Movement and also aims to eventually take over the PRD leadership.

Ebrard said he hopes that the Progressive Movement can serve as a forum to unite Mexico’s disparate left – which also comprises the PRD, the Citizen’s Movement, the Labor Party and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) – against President Enrique Peña Nieto and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

“We have an obligation to represent the nearly 16 million Mexicans who voted progressive [in 2012]. We must act as a counterbalance to the abuses and excesses of the Institutional Revolutionary Party,” Ebrard said. He also affirmed the PRI should call a public referendum over its plans for tax and energy reforms: “If you want to change the Constitution why not invite the whole population to vote yes or no. What are you afraid of?”

Ebrard previously sought the PRD candidacy ahead of the 2012 presidential election, but lost out to his predecessor as mayor of Mexico City, Lopez Obrador. As a fresh face in the Mexican left, Ebrard may stand a better chance in 2018 than his former mentor, who finished second in last year’s election, but proved too jaded and divisive to win over a majority of voters.

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