"(With two candidates in 2018), there is no doubt we will lose" - Ebrard
Former Federal District Governor Marcelo Ebrard, a key figure in Mexico's Democratic Revolution Party and an almost certain contender for president in 2018, split with other leftist politicians this week by acknowledging that a planned June 2015 citizen referendum to repeal energy law changes which went into effect earlier this month would be futile.
Those changes opened Mexico's 76 year old PEMEX (Petróleos Mexicanos) to private investment and foreign technical investment, converting it from a strict state monopoly. 20 billion barrels of crude.
Mexico's multiple left wing parties remain intransigently opposed to the new laws, calling them a sellout to foreign petroleum interests and vowing to undo them by a so-called "citizen consultation" next year. MORENA opens campaign to repeal PEMEX reforms.
"They're asking that a referendum be carried out next year, but it's going to be very difficult to throw out (constitutionally based) energy reforms which are already in force," Ebrard noted.
The issue has already made one trip to Mexico's Supreme Judicial Court and will likely do so again within the next year. On Mar. 27 the 11 member tribunal voted 8-3 to deny a petition filed by three PRD senators, who contended the internal structure and operations of PEMEX could be modified only if a citizen plebiscite so authorized. But the judges left the door slightly ajar for further legal challenge. Mexican high court tosses leftist lawsuit challenging PEMEX reforms.
In most nations with a written constitution, such as Mexico and the United States, amendments to the nation's core law by definition are unreviewable by any judicial authority, making it extraordinarily unlikely that the Supreme Court ultimately will tamper with the new energy rules.
In a nationally televised interview, Ebrard was critical at times of the Democratic Revolution Party but denied he was considering abandoning it. He said PRD should not have signed on to the so-called Pact for Mexico in 2012, a joint pledge by Mexico's three major political parties to cooperate on advancing important legislation and avoid partisan bickering. But after the PEMEX reforms were passed in December, infuriated PRD leaders said their party was withdrawing from the agreement. Exit Stage Left: "The Pact for Mexico is dead.". At the same time they launched the unsuccessful legal challenge. Mexican leftists go to court to stop PEMEX reforms.
Ebrard's comments suggest he may be seeking to distance himself from some of his party's more extreme positions in recent months.
Marcelo Ebrard (left) and Manuel López Obrador, two leftists waiting in the wings for 2018
Ebrard again made no secret of his interest in the 2018 presidential election, while commenting on PRD's prospects for success. In 2012 Ebrard deferred to ultra leftist politician Andrés Manuel López Obrador, but he will not do so again. López Obrador, the fiery leader of the new National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) and PRD's candidate in the last two national elections, has said he'll make an unprecedented third run for president in 2018, "if the citizens ask me to." Ebrard insists "it would be disastrous" if the Left fielded two presidential candidates four years from now, but that's exactly the way the stage is being set. On Cinco de Mayo, PRD celebrates its 25th birthday.
If that's what happens, Ebard said in the interview, "there is no doubt that we will lose."
"The Procuraduría of the Republic is in the service of the power mafia"
MORENA, which came into existence late last year, holds no legislative seats anywhere and has yet to be tested at the ballot box. It has virulently opposed every major reform of Enrique Peña Nieto's PRI administration, especially the PEMEX ones. Andrés Manuel's vision for Mexico.
Sept. 8, 2014 - Former Mexico City governor Marcelo Ebrard, a moderate leftist, loses bid to capture PRD helm
July 15, 2012 - Spain's El País blasts Manuel López Obrador
Feb. 5, 2014 - On Constitution Day, AMLO files criminal complaint against Peña Nieto for treason
Guadalajara, September 2013: "Heroes and Traitors" - MGR
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