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Politicians put to the test

The pre-campaign period should be an opportunity to reinforce democracy
National Electoral Institute – Horacio Jiménez/EL UNIVERSAL
14/12/2017
09:02
Mexico City
Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL
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The pre-campaign period for the Presidency succession has officially begun this Thursday. During the following 59 days, we will get to know those who aspire to be the presidential candidates. Unless something out of the ordinary happens, we already know the names of those who will appear in the ballots this July 1 and which political party they'll represent.

This period, which should be an opportunity to consolidate the internal democracy of these political groups, is famous for the promotion of names and characters who have no rivals during this early stage. Political parties, once more, owe a lot to Mexican society. Aspiring candidates deliver monologues in which only their own voices can be heard over a chorus that only repeats the information. The debate of proposals and points of view is absent. This practice only deepens the gap between the political class and society, a society which finds little to no representation in political structures.

Pre-campaigns are also an opportunity for each political party or coalition to present before all the country they want to shape. Hate and attacks should be set aside to make way for ideas. Isolatedly and vaguely, some aspiring candidates have already mentioned their proposals but more than listening to them, the voters need to know how those proposals will be translated into action.

In addition to political parties, this process also involves others who are responsible for successful elections. One of them – the group of state Governors – was addressed yesterday by the Mexican President in a speech, encouraging them to look after the normalcy of democracy during this period. In the Governors' hands lies a considerable measure of the order and quality that must prevail during the election. The adequate use of resources in the states must be allocated without party bias.

Naturally, the National Electoral Institute (INE) is the one bearing most of the weight on its shoulders. They are responsible for the diligent compliance with the law, together with the Specialized Attorney's Office against Electoral Crimes (FEPADE) – an agency currently lacking an appointed leader but whose operation has to keep running smoothly – and the Electoral Court of the Judicial Branch.

These organizations must all fulfill their responsibilities so we can have a solid pre-campaign period, including civil organizations, which have considerable strength and influence.

Over all, this electoral process must consolidate Mexico as a plural country where several points of view can coexist in a civilized manner. Today, the political class is put to the test.

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