This Sunday (6) will be the most important by-election in recent decades. The lower house will be completely renovated and all the states of Mexico will hold local elections at the same time as federal ones. A total of 20,415 positions will be contested: 500 federal deputies, 15 governors, 1,923 municipal councils, 1,063 local deputies and 14,222 councilors, in addition to councils, administrations, municipal councils and community presidencies.
In this race, the competitive strategies of the political parties are different from the subnational strategies and the options for the Federal Chamber of Deputies are reduced due to the coalitions. On the one hand, Morena-PT-PVEM, the ruling party plus small parties, which has an advantage, and on the other, the PAN-PRI-PRD, a coalition of the three main parties who fought for the power over the last 30 years in Mexico, which is a kind of repetition of what we will see for 2024. For its part, the Movimiento Ciudadano party has chosen to go it alone to strengthen its identity for 2024, like the newly formed parties. created, because they are obliged to do so for the law.
The short-term goal of the latter is to maintain the national record, although it is highly probable that, despite their strategies of positioning famous candidates without a political trajectory – actors, sportsmen, fighters and recognized characters – they will not be able to keep it.
It should be noted that, although the celebrity positioning strategy is neither new nor exclusive to any party, it was the bet of the new parties since they do not have the resources or the space in the media to compete. on an equal footing with others.
In this sense, the competitive strategies of parties at the sub-national level are linked to the local competitive conditions of each party, which is why we see all the possible combinations of coalitions. However, this creates the risk of citizens being confused when voting, as has already happened in previous processes.
The most inclusive elections
For the first time in Mexico, there will be gender parity in nominations for all popularly elected positions, including municipal presidencies and governors, spaces that until now were almost exclusively reserved for men.
Currently, only two women hold executive power in states against 30 entities where the holders are men. This is not a minor problem, because if the trends in voting intentions hold true, at least five women would occupy these spaces, which would help to break down the gender prejudices that are reflected in the increase in violence against women in the country. the political arena. The latest report from the National Electoral Institute (INE) reports 108 complaints for offenses that may constitute gender-based violence.
Other affirmative actions which have been approved and which, of course, have not been exempt from resistance and violence from political actors themselves, are those which guarantee spaces of representation for historically vulnerable groups. These include indigenous peoples, people of African descent, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQIA + community.
According to the Etellekt Consulting report, the 2020-2021 electoral process is already “the second most violent since 2000”. A few days before the elections, there are more than 443 victims: 282 candidates, 79 political professionals and the rest are victims who were relatives or collaborators of politicians.
It is also specified that the violence is escalating at the municipal level, where it can even be said that there are places where the basic conditions for the free exercise of political rights do not exist and, despite this, there are there will be elections.
International election observation missions have identified political violence as one of the biggest challenges for elections. More than the health contingency itself, since the electoral authorities have demonstrated their ability to implement protocols with excellent results in the 2020 local elections in Coahuila and Hidalgo.
What to expect on June 6
As elections approach, bad electoral practices intensify. Fake news, manipulated polls, ‘useful vote’ simulators and even paid abstention and no vote campaigns abound, seeking to influence and / or manipulate the decision of voters. None of these practices are new, but under pandemic conditions they could have a greater effect.
Another variable that does not favor participation is the fact that Mexicans participate less in elections in the medium term. However, there has never been a midterm election with so many terms at stake, a reason that could encourage citizens to vote.
Another notable aspect is that since the beginning of the electoral process, tensions between the ruling party and INE advisers have intensified. It is very possible that there will be post-election conflicts if the results do not favor Morena’s candidates, especially in Guerrero and Michoacán.
For the “fourth transformation” promoted by López Obrador, the election results are of the utmost importance as they will influence his project for the next three years. So far, among most election analysts, there is a consensus that the ruling party will decrease its number of seats compared to its results in 2018.
However, its strategy of coalition with the Labor Party, and especially the Green Party, will give it enough seats to obtain an absolute majority (50 + 1) and approach the qualified majority (2/3) of Congress. This could be ensured even with legislative transfuguism, that is, when lawmakers change parties during their tenure. In addition, Morena will be the party with the greatest number of governors, between 13 and 14 depending on the tendencies.
If this scenario were to come true, the ruling party would have every chance to push for constitutional changes, while the opposition would have to fine-tune a larger coalition for the 2024 election.
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