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Mexican Voters Send Message to Incumbent Parties, particularly PRI, in Gubernatorial Elections

ISSN:1054-8890
LADB Article ID: 80002
Category/Department: Mexico
Date: 2016-06-15
By: Carlos Navarro

The independent wave that lifted an unaffiliated candidate to the governor’s seat of Nuevo León in 2015 was glaringly absent from the 2016 gubernatorial, municipal, and state legislative elections in 2016. Even though Mexican voters elected independent candidates in a handful of mayoral races this year, the general trend was to replace the incumbent party with a major opposition, a pattern that generally benefitted the conservative Partido Acción Nacional (PAN). In many of those races, the PAN ran in coalition with the center-left Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD), but most of the media coverage of the results rated the elections as a victory for the PAN. For many analysts, the elections mostly served as a referendum on President Enrique Peña Nieto and the governing Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI). The PRI lost gubernatorial elections in four states where it had previously had a seemingly iron grip: Tamaulipas, Durango, Quintana Roo, and Veracruz. The PRI’s lackluster performance was partly the result of citizen anger against Peña Nieto, whose administration has been dogged by numerous allegations of corruption and by the perception that the government is tolerating, if not outwardly promoting, impunity.

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