Home > Americas, Latin America, Politics > Mexico After The Elections: The Crisis of Legitimacy & The Exhaustion of Predatory Neoliberalism

Mexico After The Elections: The Crisis of Legitimacy & The Exhaustion of Predatory Neoliberalism

Alejandro Álvarez Béjar writes in Monthly Review:

The Mexican general elections of July 2006 produced an official result that some felt was “very typical of advanced democracies.” But this result defied Mexican political experience, resulting in a major legitimacy crisis. With over forty million voters turning out this time, the proclaimed winner of the presidency was Felipe Calderón, the right-wing National Action Party (PAN) candidate, who in the official count beat the center-left candidate of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), Andrés Manuel López Obrador, by 0.58 percent. Calderón took 35.89 percent of the vote while Obrador took 35.31 percent.

This outcome was as astounding as it was unbelievable. Just three months earlier, the polls gave López Obrador a big lead, at the same time that Calderón was being accused of making murky concessions to the Hildebrando Corporation (in which his brother-in-law and his own wife were senior partners) during his term as energy minister. Hildebrando Corporation also had a Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) contract to design the electronic computing system for counting votes in the 2006 election, and was charged with crossing its information with the Secretariat of Social Development (SEDESOL), which manages all antipoverty governmental programs. This is not proof of a stolen election, but it comes very near that when government officers and private companies to which they have close connections have access to privileged information at the time of elections.

…The entire electoral process led to a grave political crisis. This has two sides to it: a crisis of legitimacy for the new president and a severe crisis of credibility for the country’s electoral institutions. In a broader historical view, this political problem is the expression of an unresolved transition involving the dismantling of the previous welfare state and the subsequent crisis of the neoliberal predatory state.

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