Extinct parties cost Mexico MXN $4,000 million

Carina García
Extinct parties cost Mexico MXN $4,000 million
The PES recently postulated a former soccer player to lead the state of Morelos - Photo: Ivan Stephens/EL UNIVERSAL

Extinct parties cost Mexico MXN $4,000 million

Carina García
Mexico City
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Both parties will disappear from the national electoral scene, although they will keep their registration in some entities

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Funding the two national parties, Nueva Alianza (NA) and Encuentro Social (PES), cost almost MXN $4,000 million, yet they have lost their registration this year.

As they didn't reach 3% of the votes in at least one federal election: the presidential, senate or congress elections, both parties will disappear from the national electoral scene, although they will keep their registration in some entities.

Nueva Alianza was founded in 2005 and was active for 13 years, during which it received over MXN $2,977 million.

It participated in five federal elections, and only won a majority district during that time. In total, it won 36 seats in Congress, and two seats in the Senate, all of them through party-list proportional representation. Their hits were the Governator races, as they always triumphed after carrying out coalitions.

The PES lasted four years in the country's politic life, during which it received MXN $1000 million.

It participated in two federal elections: in 2015 when it won 2 congressional seats through party-list proportional representation, and on 2018, when thanks to their alliance with Morena and the President-elect, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, it won 56 congressional seats, but 26 left for Morena.

Therefore, both parties were allocated MXN $3,997 million in federal prerogatives, as well as television spots, postal services, and other benefits, such as funding in different states.

They both had the same ending, but through different paths: NA allied with the governing coalition, PRI-PVEM, and were defeated.

The PES allied with Morena, the winner of the July 1st election, but it didn't reach the votes required to survive.

The NA and PES' mark on the political scene is scarce, to say the least. That's why some people see their extinction as good news, as they were “political opportunists”.

A loss for the system

Nicolás Loza Otero, a political expert from the Flacso, thinks that “there's nothing to celebrate” after the extinction of both parties. He admits that the majority opposes those parties and their funding, and when a party loses its registration “there's a dominant tendency to celebrate and say 'we got rid of those parasites or those public funding' scroungers”.

He says this is a partial reality: “In a liberal democracy, such as the Mexican one, where the winner is the one with the most votes, minorities have the right to organize, be represented and make proposals, and the government should protect its minorities, their rights to have an opinion, to demonstrate, as long as they have 3% of the total votes”.

The expert explains that unlike the PES and NA, there are other parties whose base and ideologies aren't clear. “For example, the PVEM started by using the ecological niche and grew thanks to pragmatic and opportunistic policies, their registration isn't at risk and, nevertheless, we don't know how genuine their ecological representation is. We can say the same about the PT, which doesn’t identify itself clearly with the minorities it allegedly represents”.

“But in the case of the PES, it does. It clearly is a minority of christian politicians that identify themselves as such, organize themselves, and want to influence in the public life and that's valid”, he says.

In the case of NA, he reminds us that the party was born after an alliance between teachers from the SNTE, a teachers' union close to Elba Esther Gordillo, and on the other hand, with a group young people who defined themselves as liberals, from the ITAM.

NA and the PES have an identity, it's a minority but it's authentic; nevertheless, they didn't survive in the midst of the political earthquake”, that's why Loza Otero thinks they might return, “because christian people, teachers, and liberals that want to be part of politics, will do it, even from another party or they will create a new one”, he says.

To the highest bidder

Roberto Duque Roquero, an academic and Constitution expert from the UNAM, has a completely opposite opinion, who thinks the PES and NA showed “political opportunism and the lack of a political ideology”. Also, the NA was born out of an alliance, between the SNTE, Elba Esther, and academics, which reminds us that the catalyst was the imminent breakup between Elba Esther and the PRI.

That's why in 2006 the NA competed by itself, but supported the PAN and then Felipe Calderón's administration, to the extent that her son-in-law, Fernando González, became the Dupity Education Minister, and others close to her directed the National Lottery and the ISSSTE, which was led by Miguel Angel Yunes, the current Veracruz Governor, who has revealed that Gordillo asked him for money for the party.

That story shows that there's no “political consistency, but that they worked for the highest bidder”, says Duque Roquero.

In regards to the PES, “it has a clearly conservative profile, but their ideology was decorative”, as they allied with Morena, a party that has “an opposed ideology, which turned out to be a grotesque alliance”. Therefore, “these aren't parties that leave a positive mark or have an identity. These parties are chameleon-like and I think they deserve their extinction”.


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