The 2021 elections are still six months away but a war of words has already broken out between the ruling Morena party and a new three-party alliance determined to seize control of the lower house of Congress and win state gubernatorial races.
Morena national president Mario Delgado on Sunday described the coalition of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the National Action Party (PAN) and the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) as a “perverse electoral alliance” and a “cancer,” triggering strong rebukes from the opposition parties themselves.
“The people of Mexico will not allow the return of a cancer that has done so much damage to the country. In 2021 we’re going to eradicate the perverse electoral alliance of the #TUMOR, made up of the PRI, the PAN and the PRD,” he wrote on Twitter.
Speaking on Sunday, Delgado said the sole objective of the coalition is to defend its own interests rather than attend to the needs of ordinary Mexicans.
The PRI, the PAN and the PRD have demonstrated over the years that they are “machines of bad government,” corruption and “immoral practices such as the squandering of public funds,” he said.
“They’re not worthy of the trust of the Mexican people,” Delgado said, adding that the coalition they have formed proves what President López Obrador has long been saying: “They’re all the same, conservatives that represent rancid neoliberalism, guilty of inequality and injustice in Mexico. They’re the mafia of power.”
Delgado, who left the lower house of Congress last month to assume the national leadership of Morena, expressed confidence that the ruling party will be well supported at the June 6 election at which the entire 500-seat Chamber of Deputies will be renewed.
“It will be very easy for the people to decide if they want to return to the politics of old, … which represents corruption and the privileges of the past, or if they want to keep trusting Morena so that the regeneration of the country’s public life continues,” he said.
Delgado also posted a 30-second video to Twitter featuring images of past PRI and PAN politicians including former presidents Carlos Salinas, Vicente Fox, Felipe Calderón and Enrique Peña Nieto.
“For decades Mexico suffered a serious disease, a malignant tumor called PRIAN that looted the country, took turns in power and pretended to compete with each other,” the narrator says.
“Today the mask is finally removed and they unite in a perverse electoral alliance. They are united by corruption, ambition and the fear of continuing to lose power. Don’t let them get away with what’s yours. Let’s eradicate the tumor of Mexico.”
The national leaders of the PRI and the PAN responded promptly to the video and Delgado’s remarks.
The PRI’s Alejandro Moreno, a former governor of Campeche, said on Twitter that if Morena is so interested in getting rid of a “tumor” it should instead focus its efforts on supplying medications to the “thousands of families that are watching their children die due to the incompetence of this government.”
Parents of children with cancer have held numerous protests since the current federal government took office to denounce ongoing shortages of drugs used to treat young cancer patients.
“The hypocrisy of Morena is so great that [its officials] are seeking to ignore their total responsibility for the closure of daycare centers, the theft of [public] trusts and the false austerity they proclaim. The reality is clear: Morena is the disgrace of Mexico, in 2021 they go! ”
PAN national president Marko Cortés said it was “pure shamelessness” for Delgado to criticize the new three-party alliance given that he was formerly a member of both the PRI and the PRD.
El pueblo de #México no va a permitir que regrese el cáncer que tanto daño le ha hecho al país. En el 2021 vamos a extirpar la perversa alianza electoral del #TUMOR, conformado por PRI, PAN y PRD. #ExtirpemosAlPRIAN pic.twitter.com/OGWBeODA0Y
— Mario Delgado (@mario_delgado) December 6, 2020
“Today the worst of the PRI and all parties take refuge in Morena,” he wrote on Twitter, citing López Obrador, Federal Electricity Commission director Manuel Bartlett (a former federal interior minister and governor of Puebla), current Puebla Governor Miguel Barbosa and Senator Napoleón Gómez Urrutia as examples.
“We’re going to take its majority [in the lower house of Congress] in 2021!”
On its official Twitter account, the PRD wrote: “The mafia of power – full of corruption – is who is running the country today: they’re the poorly named 4T. That’s why we’re building a great opposition coalition from the PRD that will get results and [be a] counterweight [to the government]. … We will be the majority in 2021. 4T, you lie, steal and betray the country.”
The 4T or Fourth Transformation is the nickname the government has given itself because it claims to be bringing a radical change to Mexico that is comparable to those brought about by independence from Spain, the Mexican revolution and 19th-century liberal reform.
López Obrador, the embodiment of the 4T, also fired a salvo in the war of words on Monday even though the National Electoral Institute (INE) has warned him to abstain from making comments about the upcoming electoral process because doing so could violate the constitution.
Speaking at his regular news conference, the president accused the PRI, the PAN and the PRD, the last of which he represented in the 2006 and 2012 presidential elections, of being one and the same.
“It has already been discovered that they’re the same. They defend the same anti-popular, sellout politics. They’ve united to impose the neoliberal model, to loot, to impose a corrupt, anti-democratic model,” he said.
“Now that a transformation is being carried out, they can’t stand it, anxiety got the better of them and they decided to remove their masks and join forces. It’s a fact, the truth – it’s historic because the PRI and the PAN are officially uniting. Before there was a de-facto alliance … but now it’s legal, formal.”
Questioned about the INE’s warning, López Obrador said that he had the right to express himself.
“Even more so when [remarks are made] … against the project I represent, even against me. I’m not making anything up, they [government critics] say themselves that they are against me and it’s clear that’s why they’re joining forces. So I believe I have the freedom [to express myself] and I must exercise it to clarify, argue and reply,” he said.
The INE issued its warning after a group of 12 federal lawmakers as well as the PAN and the PRD filed complaints against the president for improperly using his position to intervene in the electoral process, criticize the three-party alliance and urge citizens to support Morena in the upcoming federal and state elections.