Sunday, May 19, 2024

Marcelo Ebrard formally challenges Morena selection of Sheinbaum

Former foreign affairs minister Marcelo Ebrard has formally denounced alleged irregularities in the presidential candidate selection process used by the ruling Morena party and indicated that he will leave the party if his concerns aren’t addressed.

Morena, which was founded by President López Obrador with the assistance of Ebrard and others, announced last Wednesday that former Mexico City mayor Claudia Sheinbaum won the polling process to determine the party’s candidate for the June 2, 2024 presidential election.

Marcelo Ebrard at press conference
Marcelo Ebrard at a press conference where he called on his party, Morena, to repeat the polling process ahead of the announcement of results. (Cuartoscuro)

Ebrard, who finished second in a field of six aspirants, questioned the legitimacy of the polling process hours before the results were announced, citing “incidents,” irregularities and “serious inconsistencies.”

The ex-foreign minister formalized his complaint on Sunday, sending a 41-page document to Morena’s National Commission for Honesty and Justice in which he calls for the poll results to be nullified and for the process to be redone.

Morena officials have defended the polling process and ruled out any possibility that it could be repeated.

Among the alleged irregularities Ebrard says occurred were preferential treatment of Sheinbaum by Morena’s Polling Commission, the federal Ministry of Welfare and government and party officials; the placing of undue pressure on citizens; effective vote-buying; violence and intimidation on the part of pro-Sheinbaum groups; the disappearance of ballot boxes and generally lax oversight of the polling process; and the provision of information about polling locations to Sheinbaum’s team.

Claudia Sheinbaum greeting people
Ebrard alleges various forms of misconduct on the part of Claudia Sheinbaum’s team as well as by Morena officials. (Gobierno de la Ciudad de Mexico/Cuartoscuro)

The irregularities are “fully proven” and “place the certainty of the vote in doubt,” Ebrard said in the document submitted to the honesty commission, which was supported by evidence such as photographs and video footage.

He added that “physical violence and pressure” directed at people conducting the polling process or “electors” is cause for the nullification of that process under Morena party rules if those things had a “determining” impact on the result of the vote.

At a brief press conference on Monday after he met with hundreds of supporters, Ebrard said he will leave Morena if he is not satisfied with the party’s response to his complaint.

“We’re presenting a complaint … with total conviction that what I’m saying is true,” he said.

AMLO and Marcelo Ebrard
President López Obrador and Marcelo Ebrard have a long political history going back to Ebrard’s position as Mexico City’s Public Security Minister during AMLO’s term as mayor from 2000-2005. (Gob MX)

“What course of action we take will depend on the response from Morena. If these different circumstances, incidents, that occurred in the [polling] process remain the same, I would no longer be interested in being in Morena,” said Ebrard, who stepped down as foreign minister in June to focus on his presidential ambitions.

“… If from their point of view, everything that we’ve presented … didn’t happen … then my decision would be to no longer participate [in Morena] because I don’t endorse that conduct, these practices. I’ve been fighting against them for many years,” he said.

“… We mustn’t allow these practices, which are a virus, to be in the bloodstream of Morena because they’ll have a devastating effect,” Ebrard said.

“… I have enormous affection for President López Obrador, I’ve been his most loyal collaborator, I would never harm him for political purposes, but I have to say this because it took a lot of work to organize and form Morena,” he said.

Ebrard said he wasn’t interested in getting a consolation prize from Morena, such as one of the proportional-representation Senate seats the party will be allocated after next year’s election.

“I have the greatest respect for popular representation, but it’s not my objective to get a senatorship or [another] position, my objective is for this to be resolved,” he said.

Morena aspirants for 2024 nomination
Marcelo Ebrard (left), with other aspirants to represent Morena in 2024 (Adán Augusto López, Claudia Sheinbaum and Ricardo Monreal) at the beginning of the candidate selection process in June. (CNM/X)

Ebrard said he will embark on a month-long national tour next Monday to “meet again with those who supported us.”

“We’re going to organize and formalize our national political movement,” he said without specifying what his end goal was.

Ebrard said last week that he wasn’t planning to run as an independent candidate for president, but he hasn’t ruled out contesting the election next June. One possibility is that he will reach an agreement with the Citizens Movement (MC) party to run as its candidate.

The MC is the only significant party to have not yet selected a presidential candidate for next year’s election.

If Ebrard ends up on the ballot paper, he will face off against Sheinbaum and Senator Xóchitl Gálvez, who won the selection process run by the three-party Broad Front for Mexico opposition bloc.

With reports from El Economista, Reforma, El País, Milenio and Reuters 

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