Today, Mexico’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) will officially put forth its candidate for the July 1 presidential election. Since November, the PRI has supported former Finance Minister Jose Antonio Meade Kuribreña as the first non-party member for the presidency.
Running for a party riddled with embezzlement scandals and blamed for record-breaking violence, Meade is struggling to gather support for his campaign of anti-corruption and cracking down on crime. Despite his reputation for decency in public service, he stands third in opinion polls behind left-right coalition leader Ricardo Anaya and left-wing populist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who has an 8-point lead at 34% amidst accusations of receiving support from Venezuela and Russia.
It is unlikely Meade’s formal nomination will boost the prospects of the PRI securing a presidential victory. Independent candidates, who collectively hold 8% of approval, will likely challenge the PRI’s predominance in governorships and legislative seats and take votes away from all mainstream candidates. Expect the campaign period to internally divide the opposition but for the populist movement to gain more legislative representation as a discouraged electorate chooses its future president by a plurality as small as 30%.
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Bibi contributes to our analysis of European affairs for The Daily Brief. She also serves as a copy editor for the publication.