Aspiring presidential candidates draw their weapons

Under Reserve features fact-checked news written by journalists and contributors to EL UNIVERSAL
Andrés Manuel, Ricardo Anaya & José Antonio - File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
31/12/2017
09:58
Mexico City
OPINION: Under Reserve
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Aspiring presidential candidates draw their weapons

The aspiring presidential candidates are getting ready for 2018 and awaiting the starting shot. Unless there are last minute changes, Andrés Manuel López Obrador will start his campaign in Veracruz on January 6 and will have information Assemblies in Tezonapa, Yanga, and Amatlán. He will also visit Acultzingo, Mariano Escobedo, Misantla, San Rafael and Álamo, Chicontepec, and Tempoal, where he will conclude his tour on January 12. José Antonio Meade, the aspiring candidate of the center-right Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), will start on January 2 in Zacatecas and Aguascalientes. For his part, Ricardo Anaya, the aspiring candidate of the conservative National Action Party (PAN), will receive 2018 with his family in Querétaro and they will probably go on tour in the states of Nayarit, Coahuila, and Quintana Roo. So the aspiring presidential candidates have unveiled their weapons to begin the fight in 2018.

The pressures of the PAN

Our sources say the support Ricardo Anaya has been gathering from within the conservative National Action Party (PAN) for his presidential candidacy is not that solid or certain. There are some PAN members who are denouncing within – and, now we know, also outside – the party, that the inner circle of Anaya is “putting pressure on” some leaders and key figures, such as municipal presidents, regional party leaders, and even Governors to earn their support because without it, at the moment of handing out candidacies for 2018, those not backing Mr. Ricardo could be left empty-handed. The goal is to have Anaya reach, safe and sound, the official appointment as the presidential candidate of the coalition For Mexico to the Front and for the PAN leaders to get some of the candidacies; otherwise they know what will happen.

Sparks fly over AMLO on Twitter

Someone who sprang to the defense of the Education reform in social networks was none other than Otto Granados, Minister of Education, who, without referring to the aspiring presidential candidate of the left National Regeneration Party (MORENA), Andrés Manuel López Obrador, twitted: “Can you argue with a madman? And he aspires to be an option? Beyond his senility and mental health issues, he lacks ideas, arguments, reasons, facts, harsh and verifiable data, and he has too much immorality, falsehood, and demagogy.” Of course, there were some who asked who Mr. Otto was talking about and he replied with “Take a guess, dear.” Some reminded Granados of his position as public servant and others applauded him for entering the debate, albeit with some impudence. What's a fact is that Grandos' Twitter account, with 5,723 followers, clarifies: “Opinions, references, judgments, and recommendations are strictly personal.”

The PRD and their late reaction

It seems the former party or López Obrador, the left Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), has just learned about the Internet. Or one is inclined to believe so given that yesterday the party filed a complaint before the National Electoral Institute (INE) because in September – yes, 4 months ago – an international tour of Mr. Andrés Manuel across the United States, London, and Spain, was broadcast online through what AMLO's followers call “Radio AMLO.”According to the complaint, López Obrador – now an aspiring presidential candidate – launched campaign activities outside the electoral period and his party, the left National Regeneration Party (MORENA) shares part of the responsibility for this. The decision of the PRD, albeit a bit delayed, is seeking to set an antecedent for when AMLO makes his candidacy official. The PRD will claim then that there have been systematic irregularities that will affect the fairness of the electoral contests. But the party sure reacted a bit late, our sources say.

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