ManattJones CEO Discusses Mexico’s 2012 Presidential Election
“Mexico After the Elections”Latin America Advisor
May 30, 2012 – ManattJones Global Strategies Chairman & CEO James R. Jones spoke to Inter-American Dialogue’s Latin America Advisor about the Mexican presidential elections that will be held in July. The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) is currently poised to win a majority of the seats in both houses of Mexico’s Congress, and the party’s presidential candidate, Enrique Peña Nieto, has been running more than 20 percentage points ahead of his competitors.
When asked his thoughts on whether the PRI will win, and if so, what types of legislative changes or reforms would result, Jones, who is a former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, replied:
“Unless Peña Nieto makes a major campaign mistake, it appears that the PRI is headed for a blow-out election victory, winning both the presidency and a majority of Congress. It also appears that the Peña Nieto brain trust headed by Luis Videgaray is planning to pass some major reforms early on. In fact, there is some hope that the PRI leadership in Congress will actually pass significant reforms when the new Congress convenes in September and before the inauguration of the next president in December. Most talked about reforms are in opening the energy sector to more private investment, amending the labor laws to permit more flexibility and further reforming the fiscal laws to garner more tax revenue. Also being considered are laws strengthening competition and restricting dominant companies in key economic sectors, accelerating the implementation of judicial reforms to make a more transparent legal system and certain adjustments in the battle against criminal organizations to improve the government's effectiveness while reducing violence. While many of the old-time PRI remain in important advisory roles, this PRI headed by Peña Nieto is truly different and seem ready to tackle many of the remaining issues that have prevented Mexico from attaining first-world status. In order to accomplish some of these reforms, a super majority of Congress will be needed to amend the Constitution. The PRI's simple majority cannot do that on its own. Peña Nieto seems to have planned for this and thinks he can piece together enough votes from other parties to get this done. Does such an outcome mean the demise of either the PAN or PRD? I think not. With Marcelo Ebrard clearly leading the PRD forward, the future looks stronger and many believe he will be the front runner going into the next presidential election in 2018. The PAN too will have to regroup, settle its internal differences and rally around a leader who can be the constructive opposition until the next election. As for U.S.-Mexican relations, I see it strengthening, especially in commercial relationships.”
Jones also sits on the publication’s Board of Advisors.
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