The post-election strategy of the PRD in Mexico

By Ciro Di Costanzo (for Safe Democracy)

Ciro Di Costanzo explains how the Mexican people have rejected Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador‘s proclamation that he is the legitimate president. In Costanzo‘s opinion, if the PRD continues to support itself on Obrador‘s strategy, the party will end up fragmented and weakened, and will hurt the image of a responsible and viable left that took years to construct. In supporting AMLO‘s protest, the PRD needs to question whether its goal is the best interest of the people, or the satisfaction of a frustrated leader.

Ciro Di Costanzo is a journalist and an analyst of international politics.He is the head of one of the most important radio shows in Mexico (Reporte 98.5 FM, now in its third season of broadcasting) and is a Professor of Communication and International Politics at the Universidad Iberoamericana. He has covered events worldwide and is the founder of the Mexican Counsel of International Affairs.He gives talks at the principal universities of his country and around the world.

DESPITE CONSTANT EVIDENCE FROM THE POLLS that the Mexican people do not approve of his ongoing protest for justice, ex-Presidential candidate, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, declared himself the Legitimate President in front of a crowd of his followers, venting his pent up frustration over the loss of a greatly cherished aspiration.

Had that been all, Lopez Obrador (or AMLO as many refer to him) would be nothing more than a clown, proclaiming his desire to be President in the middle of Mexico City’s central square, the Zocalo Capitalino. Yet, as the representative of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), the second most powerful political force in the country (which ain’t peanuts) and the majority of the influential left in Mexico, AMLO is dragging everyone who follows him over the electoral cliff and into oblivion.

It took years for the PRD to shake off the reputation for aggression and belligerence that hindered it from presenting itself as a responsible and viable option for government. Today, the PRD controls five states of the republic and is composed of many moderate and intellectual factions. However, the attitude of the current leader has brought the party back to the path of confrontation and conflict, a major factor in generating general dislike among the population.

There has been little proof of electoral fraud up until now, and AMLO’s declaration of that he is the Legitimate President is little more than a farce headed by a schizophrenic who has destroyed all possibilities for leading a serious and constructive opposition party.

Lopez Obrador, formerly an ordinary citizen without any public charge, has been handing out orders that compromise legislators from fulfilling their functions, like Marcelo Ebrard, the Head of the Government in Mexico City, in his attempt to keep order in the capital of the country and the principal bastion of the PRD. The time has come for Leonel Cota, National President of the PRD, to recognize that supporting such a risky and picturesque leader will only damage his political organization. All in time.

As it did during the Mexican Revolution, the left in Mexico is practicing cannibalism. The paradox is quite incredible: while the Dictator Porfirio Diaz, a man who had all of the revolutionaries against him, died peacefully in Paris; the autocrats of the Revolution (Villa, Zapata, Obregon, Madero, Carranza) were brutally murdered by each other. History repeats itself.

After this poorly run presidential adventure, the PRD has begun to destroy itself from the inside out. Recently, the Bejaranista movement, led by Dolores Padierna, attacked Cuauhtemoc Cardenas and Jesus Ortega, blaming them for the defeat of their ex-candidate and calling them traitors to the party. The statements were even more symbolic of a deep rift within the PRD considering that Cardenas stands as the moral bastion of the left in Mexico, while Jesus Ortega was the ex-coordinator of Lopez Obrador’s campaign, and the leader of the most powerful movement within the PRD.

The tragedy of the left in Latin America is that it cannot live without an autocrat, a figure by definition undemocratic and unthinkable in a modern political framework.

And so, the PRD continues to struggle between two different contradictory movements: denying institutions, and depending upon them.

Claiming that there was fraud in the same election that won them deputies, senators, and a head of government, would not be so absurd had the results not been counted by the hands of citizens, under the watchful eye of PRD representatives.

Representing the left, and practicing intolerance; leading the people and the fight against poverty, and abandoning the political dialogue necessary to further this leadership: the PRD is stuck in doubletalk, making the people of Mexico begin to wonder whether the party wishes to act in the public interest, or satisfy the frustrations of an enraged leader.

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