20 September 2006
AMLO's antics splitting the Mexican left?
At about the same time as Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was being proclaimed the "legitimate president" of Mexico by a "National Democratic Convention," PRD founder Cuauhtemoc Cardenas blasted the disgruntled presidential candidate for hurting the Mexican left and damaging the country's institutions, which Cardenas' own protests and struggles, no doubt, helped to establish.
"The institutions have to be respected," Cardenas told a Spanish newspaper in an interview published on Monday (and republished in the Herald Mexico yesterday).
"The path of confrontation, of breaking and disrespecting the constitutional order, won't bring the nation better results."
(Lopez Obrador recently said, "To hell" with Mexico's institutions, after the tribunal adjucting election complaints dismissed his coalition's allegations of fraud.)
In an open letter penned late last week, he expressed discomfort with a perceived lack of tolerance for dissent on the part of Lopez Obrador.
"It worries me profoundly, the intolerance and demonization, the dogmatic attitude that prevails around Andres Manuel for those of us who do not accept unconditionally his proposals and who question his points of view and decisions," Cardenas wrote.
(Lopez Obrador took heat during the election campaign for not heeding his team's advice and continuing to stick with an ineffective strategy, even when polls showed his campaign slipping.)
And Cardenas isn't the only member of the Mexican left attacking Lopez Obrador. Patricia Mercado Castro of the upstart Alternativa Party portrayed herself and party as a modern and responsible alternative to Lopez Obrador's coalition throughout the election campaign. She accused Lopez Obrador of "building dependency."
Author Carlos Fuentes also took issue with Lopez Obrador's tactics and the selective nature of the candidate's allegations of fraud. He questioned why Lopez Obrador would call the presidential race fraudulent, but not object to the congressional and senate results, in which the left-leaning Coalition for the Good of All made impressive gains. (It even displaced the PRI as the second-leading group.)
"There could have been fraud in the Chamber of Deputies, there could have been fraud in the Senate, but there wasn't. ... There was only fraud for the presidency of the Republic. How strange, no? I don't believe it."
Like Mercado, who also accused Lopez Obrador of reviving old PRI practices, Cardenas showed discomfort with a number of ex-PRI functionaries in Lopez Obrador's inner circle - especially Manuel Camacho Solis, a former member of Carlos Salinas' cabinet and a figure in the 1988 fraud.
A former co-worker once complained to me prior to the election: The PRD is like a garbage can for the PRI's worst politicians. Being in Jalisco, he pointed to the PRD's local slate, which was full of recent party-switchers, including gubernatorial candidate Enrique Ibarra.
Grupo Reforma columnist Sergio Sarmiento - who is not on the left - once opined that previously, one couldn't be on the left in Mexico without being a democrat. Those times seem to have changed. Institutions were supposed to be the country's salvation from calamities like 1988.