Lessons From the Mexican Elections

Lessons From the Mexican Elections

Mexico’s 1994 presidential election was supposed to bring both clean elections and the political comeback of the left. Instead, Mexico escaped the worldwide wave of democratization one more time. The Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), which includes center-left ex-members of the ruling party and most of both the old and new lefts, had hoped that 1994 would be a replay of Cuauhtemoc Cárdenas’s surprise 1988 triumph. His official 1988 tally of 31 percent was an unprecedented challenge to the ruling party-state, and many observers suspect that he actually won. In 1994, not only did the candidate of the government’s Party of the Institutional Revolution (PRI) clearly come in first with almost 50 percent, but Cárdenas slipped far behind to third place with 17 percent, trailing the center-right National Action party’s (PAN)

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