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Enrique Peña Nieto offers the opening of Pemex to private investment

posted Nov 21, 2011, 6:36 PM by Elección México   [ updated Nov 21, 2011, 6:37 PM ]
A full count of ballots from the Michoacán race from November 13th shows that the PRI’s Fausto Vallejo won by 52,233 votes. The PAN’s Luisa Maria Calderón, who came in second, and the PRD coalition’s Silvano Aureoles, who came in third, conceded the race. The result, while expected to be close, surprised many observers: an October 26th poll by GCE had shown Calderón to be nine points ahead. She eventually lost by nearly three percentage points. The Mexico Institute’s Eric Olson has analyzed the concerns about violence that impacted voter choice, and what this could potentially mean for next year’s presidential election.

Enrique Peña Nieto, the frontrunner in the PRI’s internal race, criticized President Calderón’s strategy against organized crime as “insufficient.” Many believe his lead in the polls (by 23 percent, according to a recent Mitofsky poll) derives from his pledge to reduce violence linked to the current government’s attack on drug cartels.

Peña Nieto also made news this week when he told Bloomberg that opening Mexico’s state oil company, known as Pemex, to more private investment “would be my signature issue.” He noted that President Calderón failed efforts to achieve a major energy reform in 2008. “The most well-suited party to do a reform like this,” he said, echoing his comments at the Wilson Center about the security crisis, “is the PRI.”

Senator Manlio Fabio Beltrones,   the only remaining challenger to Peña Nieto for the PRI’s nomination, reportedly announced that he is “evaluating” whether or not to continue competing in the internal race. He told the press he would make a decision “soon.”

By Katie Putnam, Mexico Institute, 21 November 2011