Saturday, December 15, 2012

Former president Vicente Fox quits National Action Party

MGRR News Analysis - Good riddance, Vicente

Guadalajara -
Former Mexican president Vicente Fox, who led a coalition of center right groups to victory in the 2000 presidential election and snatched away the nation's highest political office from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) for the first time in 71 years, has officially parted company with PAN.

Officials of the "Blue and White," Mexico's National Action Party, confirmed that Fox failed to re-enlist as a PANista. The time for doing so has expired.

The news won't come as a surprise to most observers. Fox became an outspoken critic of his PAN successor - former president Felipe Calderón Hinojosa - and particularly of the National Security Strategy implemented by Calderón six years ago this month. Not only did Fox condemn the drug war and the use of the armed forces to go after narcotics traffickers and organized crime bosses, he vigorously advocated the complete legalization of all drugs on a worldwide basis.

During this year's presidential contest, Fox in net effect openly endorsed PRI candidate Enrique Peña Nieto, who won the July 1 election and was sworn in on Dec. 1. On April 12 Fox told reporters that although "his heart" was with PAN nominee Josefina Vázquez Mota, he was sure that Peña Nieto would be the country's next president. Suggesting the contest was "already decided," Fox said that Vázquez Mota would need a milagrito to prevail - a little miracle. Vázquez Mota finished a distant third, well behind leftist candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Fox's comments and campaign rhetoric infuriated PAN regulars, who called for his expulsion from the party after the ballots were counted. But the measure never got traction, perhaps because Vázquez Mota herself said she preferred to remember happier days, when she served as Secretary of Social Development under Fox - the first woman ever to hold the post.

The former president's failure to renew his own party affiliation has put a quiet end to the controversy. Now all that remains to be seen is whether PRI will reward him, as it does so many tricolor loyalists. There has been recurrent speculation that president Peña Nieto will name Fox to an ambassadorial post, but he's not done so yet.

July 3 - Vicente Fox faces expulsion from PAN
June 5 - Vicente Fox, a PRIsta in very thin disguise
Apr. 16 - Vicente Fox: legalize all drugs immediately
Apr. 12 - Vicente Fox does his best to sink Josefina
Mar. 20 - Fox says 60 million in the U.S. are guilty of drug crimes, including Obama and Clinton

The man of many faces, who seeks out the camera and adores media attention, put on an Oscar performance during last spring's campaign. The only thing the photographer didn't capture was the political dagger Fox repeatedly plunged into Josefina Vázquez.

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