Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Presidential candidate Xóchitl Gálvez to speak Sunday at rally in support of electoral institute

Presidential candidate Xóchitl Gálvez will be one of anticipated tens of thousands of people to descend on Mexico City’s central square this Sunday for a rally organized by civil society groups that support or are affiliated with Mexico’s main opposition parties.

So-called Marea Rosa (Pink Tide) demonstrations will be held in more than 90 Mexican and foreign cities on Sunday, but the largest gathering will take place in Mexico City’s Zócalo.

The opposition movement is known as the Marea Rosa because its supporters typically wear pink to demonstrate their support for the National Electoral Institute (INE), which uses pink in its logo. It is not to be confused with the same term as used to describe a shift toward leftist governments across Latin America this century.

In Mexico, many Marea Rosa supporters claim that the INE is under attack by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who sought to overhaul the electoral authority with a sweeping electoral reform package that was struck down by the Supreme Court last year. The most recent Marea Rosa demonstration — the so-called “March for our Democracy” — was held in February. Gálvez didn’t attend that rally.

However, at this Sunday’s event in the Zócalo, the candidate for a three-party alliance made up of the National Action Party (PAN), the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) will be the most prominent speaker. The event, unlike previous Marea Rosa rallies, will thus be more about showing support for Gálvez than the INE.

Max Cortázar, a member of the candidate’s campaign team, said that the rally will be Gálvez’s final campaign event in Mexico City ahead of the June 2 presidential election. He said she will hold other “campaign closure” events in other parts of the country before the official campaign period ends on May 29.

The pink-clad protesters of the 'Pink Tide' have showed up across the country in recent years to express support for a robust National Electoral Institute (INE), Mexico's autonomous electoral oversight body.
The pink-clad protesters of the ‘Pink Tide’ have showed up across the country in recent years to express support for a robust National Electoral Institute (INE), Mexico’s autonomous electoral oversight body. (Fernando Carranza García/Cuartoscuro)

In a post to social media on Thursday, Gálvez urged people planning to attend Marea Rosa rallies in Mexico City and other parts of the country to take a Mexican flag with them.

“The flag is ours, it belongs to us. Also take your favorite ‘Xochilover’ sign. See you on Sunday,” she said.

The attendees won’t arrive to an empty Zócalo on Sunday morning as teachers affiliated with the CNTE union are camping out there as they seek a larger pay rise than the 10% hike announced by López Obrador on Wednesday.

Guadalupe Acosta, a member of the National Civic Front and one of the organizers of the Marea Rosa rally, told the El Universal newspaper that she didn’t anticipate any problems.

The CNTE members “haven’t made any statement against us,” Acosta said, adding that the Zócalo is “huge” and therefore there is enough space for everyone.

“We’ll have a friendly conversation,” he said.

“… The Marea Rosa demonstration is the event at which we want to explain why we’re not neutral and decided to support Xóchitl and [Mexico City mayoral candidate Santiago] Taboada,” Acosta added.

The Mexican flag has long flown over Mexico City's Zócalo.
The Mexican flag frequently flies over Mexico City’s Zócalo. (Wikimedia Commons)

A fuss over the flag  

Gálvez — who is currently well behind Morena candidate Claudia Sheinbaum in the polls — revealed on Wednesday that she had written to López Obrador to ask that the Mexican flag be raised in the Zócalo on Sunday. The president said earlier in the week it wouldn’t go up due to the rally.

“This Sunday there will be a massive civic concentration in the Mexico City Zócalo. Hundreds of thousands of Mexicans will exercise their right to free expression of ideas and political preferences,” Gálvez wrote.

“… At previous civic concentrations, the order has been given to not put up the national flag in Constitution Square. May I remind you that the Zócalo is a public square and our national flag is the most important symbol of national unity. The flag can’t be the patrimony of one person or political movement. For that exact reason, I ask you to put up the national flag in the Zócalo, like every Sunday, for the civic concentration on May 19,” the PAN-PRI-PRD candidate said.

On Thursday, López Obrador said that the flag would be raised on Sunday, but added that protective barriers around the National Palace — located opposite the Zócalo — would not be removed.

“The flag will be there on Sunday. There are no bad intentions. There is no bad faith. The flag belongs to all Mexicans,” he said.

Barriers will remain in place “to avoid provocations” and “protect the National Palace, the Cathedral and all the historic buildings,” López Obrador said three days after students attacked the National Palace with firecrackers and injured 26 police officers.

Sheinbaum takes aim at the Marea Rosa

During a campaign visit to Veracruz last week, the Morena candidate asserted that the Marea Rosa supporters wear pink “because they are embarrassed to say they’re from the PRI and the PAN.”

Morena presidential candidate Claudia Sheinbaum framed Marea Rosa supporters as just a new iteration of defenders of the PRI and PAN
Morena presidential candidate Claudia Sheinbaum framed Marea Rosa supporters as just a new iteration of defenders of the PRI and PAN political parties. (Claudia Sheinbaum/X)

Sheinabum criticized those two parties, saying that they governed Mexico for years but never kept their promises to the people of Mexico.

“Now they say that they agree with the [current government’s welfare and social] programs. No. They voted against [them] in the Chamber of Deputies and in the Senate and every year they vote against the budget, in which [spending on] the social programs is outlined,” she said at an event in the city of Cosamaloapan.

Gálvez has repeated throughout her campaign that she intends to maintain the current government’s welfare and social programs — including the Youths Building the Future apprenticeship scheme and Sowing Life reforestation/employment initiative — if she wins the presidency.

With reports from El Universal, Expansión Política, Proceso, El Financiero, El Economista, and Reforma   

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