Sunday, February 12, 2012

Vázquez Mota appoints former PAN opponents as campaign consultants

National Action Party (PAN) presidential nominee Josefina Vázquez Mota has named both of her her former primary opponents as campaign advisers. The move was no doubt designed to smooth over any hard feelings after last week's vote, which determined who will be PAN's standard bearer in this year's presidential election. Vázquez Mota won the Feb. 5 primary decisively, capturing almost 55% of the 547,000 ballots.

Santiago Creel, who ended up far down in third place with only 6% of the party's internal vote, will serve as a political adviser with special responsibility for matters of national security, particularly the ongoing drug war launched in December 2006.

Ernesto Cordero, a former secretary of the Hacienda, Mexico's combined tax collection and budget office, will be a special consultant on economic affairs. Ernesto Cordero won approval from almost 39% of PAN party regulars, far more than polls had suggested just days before.

A Consulta Mitofsky presidential preference poll taken shortly after last week's PAN primary showed PRI front runner Enrique Peña Nieto with 40% support (down about 9% from early January), Vázquez Mota with 24% (up slightly from a pre-primary survey), and PRD nominee Andrés Manuel López Obrador, generally regarded as the leftist option in this country, holding steady at 18%. About 80 million Mexicans are expected to go to the polls on July 1 to elect a successor to current PAN president Felipe Calderón Hinojosa.

Vázquez Mota did not indicate whether she would name either man to her cabinet if she's elected. But that possibility certainly cannot be excluded, especially since the general campaign (in a strict legal sense) doesn't even begin until March 30. It's an established political custom in Mexico for presidential candidates to name many or all of their cabinet choices during the campaign, so that voters will know what to expect if they win. López Obrador has already named most of his proposed cabinet, which includes several women.

Vázquez Mota easily captures PAN nomination:
"No beauty contest," says López Obrador of 2012 presidential election:

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