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PAN Front Runner Margarita Zavala Leaves Party to Launch Independent Candidacy

LADB Article ID: 80435
Category/Department: Mexico
Date: 2017-10-11
By: Carlos Navarro

Margarita Zavala––once considered the front runner to gain the presidential nomination for the conservative Partido Acción Nacional (PAN)––has left the party to run as an independent. Zavala is now one of more than two dozen candidates who are seeking the presidency without a party affiliation in the election to be held on July 1, 2018. Zavala’s departure from the PAN puts both her and the party at a disadvantage. “Both the PAN and Margarita Zavala are weakened by this move,” analyst Enrique Toussaint of Universidad de Guadalajara said in an interview with the business publication Expansión. Zavala, who is the wife of former President Felipe Calderón (2006-2012), spent her entire political career in the PAN. She served as a member of the Chamber of Deputies for three years and became the first lady when her husband was elected to the presidency in 2006. Zavala’s departure was rooted in an internal PAN feud among factions supporting and opposing current party president Ricardo Anaya. Zavala and several senators have accused Anaya, who also has presidential ambitions, of subordinating the party base to his agenda

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