The leader of Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s former party has accused the president of recreating the old Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) regime he fought for decades to replace.
Speaking at an event in Morelia, Michoacán, to mark the 32nd anniversary of the foundation of the leftist Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), Jesús Zambrano declared that the raison d’etre of his party — which AMLO, as the president is commonly known, represented at the 2006 and 2012 presidential elections — remains the same: “to put an end to anti-democratic, populist, centralizing and dictatorial practices.”
Zambrano, a former federal deputy, said the foundation of the PRD in 1989 — AMLO, also a former PRI member, was one of the founders — was the result of a fight for democracy and a response to the old political regime of the PRI, which implemented a quasi dictatorship for much of the 20th century before being voted out of office in 2000.
The PRI didn’t respect minority groups and controlled sham elections from the Ministry of the Interior, he said, explaining that it was in that context that the PRD came into being.
“And now, in the middle of 2021, 32 years after our birth, López Obrador and [the ruling party] Morena have returned to rebuild that old regime, accentuating its worst practices,” the PRD national president said.
At the 2018 elections, Morena fooled millions of people, leading them to believe that it was a leftist party, Zambrano said. But now many of them have realized that the ruling party is not leftist at all but rather an enemy of democratic practices, the division of powers and social justice, he said.
(The Congress, in which Morena leads a majority in both houses, recently approved a law backed by the president to extend the term of the Supreme Court’s chief justice, an AMLO ally, even though it appears to be in clear violation of the constitution.)
“It’s enough to see how Morena abolished [public] trusts that benefited millions of people and helped the development of the country; they cut the budgets of both institutions and social programs,” Zambrano said.
The party leader also criticized López Obrador and Morena for perpetuating the militarization of public security, giving the military control of the nation’s ports and centralizing the purchase of medications, which he claimed has caused widespread shortages of drugs, including those used to treat children with cancer.
Zambrano also charged that Morena, under the guise of austerity and the push to eliminate corruption, has modified the structure of public administration, making it less effective and a shell of its former self. Institutions, government programs, shelters for women who are victims of violence and state-run childcare centers have all disappeared, he said, claiming also that AMLO is attempting to destroy bodies that have played a crucial role in democratizing Mexico, such as the National Electoral Institute.
“López Obrador assumes himself to be the bearer of morals that he doesn’t have,” Zambrano added.
“… This government has been unable to resolve problems. On the contrary, it has made them worse; it’s only focused on causing division and trying to win elections. … The president behaves … like the boss of a gang, not a head of state,” Zambrano said.
Despite Zambrano’s claim that many citizens who supported Morena in 2018 are now aware that the party is not what they thought it would be, the ruling party nevertheless has a commanding lead in the polls ahead of the June 6 elections, at which the entire lower house of Congress will be renewed.
Some political observers believe that López Obrador will become even more authoritarian in the second half of his six-year term — especially if Morena, as expected, wins convincingly in the midterm elections — and even seek to change the constitution so that he can remain in power beyond 2024.
The president himself has repeatedly ruled out that possibility, and even signed a written undertaking in March 2019 that he would not seek reelection. He reiterated last month that when his term as president ends, he will retire to his ranch in Palenque, Chiapas, where he intends to write a book.
Source: El Universal (sp)