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Fast-track blessings for Meade

Under Reserve features fact-checked news written by journalists and contributors to EL UNIVERSAL
José Antonio Meade - File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
28/11/2017
09:46
Mexico City
OPINION: Under Reserve
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Fast-track blessings for Meade

The weekend of the now unveiled José Antonio Meade was intense, full of meetings and plans to get the fast-track blessing of all the sectors of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in a row. During these 48 hours, Mr. Antonio met with his team, with the national leader of the PRI Enrique Ochoa, and with members of the presidential Cabinet, among them the current Minister of Finance José Antonio González – who stepped down as the CEO of PEMEX – and the Minister of Public Education, Aurelio Nuño. We've been told the work meetings took place at the backup offices of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit in the south of Mexico City. From there, according to our sources, Meade left on Sunday night with his resignation letter addressed to the Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. Simultaneously, the living forces of the party dusted off the engine – a machinery of the 70's – to bolt across the express highway to 2018.

More changes to the Cabinet?

In some government agencies, several have claimed their current heads will be stepping down. They say it's possible that some of the higher federal officers – including a Minister of the Interior – will leave the Cabinet, possibly to join the campaign team of José Antonio Meade. Our sources say the reason why these changes didn't take place in a single day was so the spotlight could be focused solely on Mr. José Antonio, and that only for market stability were the replacements of the heads of PEMEX and the Ministry of Finance announced yesterday, together with Meade's resignation. However, once the candidacy is announced with the express manifest of the support of all the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) sectors, the time has come to assemble the campaign team – which may well include a certain Minister of the Interior.

Where is the Citizen's Front?

Barely a week ago, the Citizen's Front for Mexico presented as a full course meal the electoral platform of their coalition before the National Electoral Institute (INE), which was seen at the time as a solid step in the consolidation of the project – a project in which the National Action Party (PAN) has focused all its political capital. Yet in one week, the panorama of the Front has turned grim. Last Tuesday, Miguel Ángel Mancera insisted the presidential candidate should be chosen through a transparent process and not hand-picked by a few. He warned that in case there was an imposition, he wouldn't play a part on the project and that he could very well run alone as the candidate of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD). On Wednesday, Luis Castro, national leader of the New Alliance Party (PANAL) announced that his party wouldn't join the Front, given the lack of response from Ricardo Anaya, Alejandra Barrales, and Dante Delgado to the request of preparing a joint agenda. This weekend, Enrique Alfaro, Guadalajara's Mayor and candidate of the Citizen's Movement Parrty (MC) to run for Governor of Jalisco, confirmed that an alliance with the PAN and the PRD would add nothing to his project and would  take away his "punch.” And to top it off, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) will choose José Antonio Meade as their candidate, with the hope to add the votes of the citizens who traditionally vote for the PAN. Perhaps Anaya pulled too tight the rope and now his obsession will be the cause of his demise?

Zavala's ally

The team of independent presidential candidate nominee, Margarita Zavala, doesn't waste time in gathering the signatures required and every occasion offers an opportunity. To prove it, the number one ally of her team – none other than husband and former Mexican President, Felipe Calderón – takes advantage of every single opportunity to help her gather the 800 thousand signatures she needs to run. Last weekend, Mr. Felipe and his discreet escort of Joint Chiefs of Staff were seen shopping at a renowned supermarket in the south of Mexico City, where Calderón didn't hesitate to ask those who approached him to greet him for their signature. He personally did the whole process: took out his cellphone, tapped on the app, registered the voter registration card of those willing to support Zavala, and took their photo to seal the deal.

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