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Delgado, left, and Muñoz are vying for the Morena leadership. Delgado, left, and Muñoz are vying for the Morena leadership.

Morena divided: fight for party presidency turns nasty

Porfirio Muñoz and Mario Delgado face off in fight to lead the ruling party

Two Morena party politicians are engaged in a war of words as they both seek the national leadership of a deeply divided ruling party.

Mario Delgado, Morena’s leader in the lower house of Congress and a candidate for the party’s national presidency, accused rival Porfirio Muñoz Ledo, a veteran lawmaker, of seeking the party’s leadership in order to convert it into a movement opposed to the administration of President López Obrador.

“Porfirio Muñoz Ledo could convert Morena into an opposition party to the government of Andrés Manuel [López Obrador],” Delgado said at an event in Saltillo, Coahuila, on Sunday.

“That is the route he is proposing via ruptures [within the party], sectarianism and exclusion.”

Delgado claimed that with his “self-proclamation” that he has won the national presidency of Morena, Muñoz is attempting to carry out “a kind of coup” against the party.

Muñoz claims to have won a survey conducted to determine the new leader.
Muñoz claims to have won a survey conducted to determine the new leader.

“That’s not a good sign for Morena or the country. What a contradiction it would be for our democratic struggle to have a spurious leader. With this level of impetuosity, Porfirio Muñoz could repudiate Andrés Manuel López Obrador at any moment or even attack him for his democratic conviction. This would place at risk everything that we’ve achieved, everything for which we’ve fought for more than 20 years so that López Obrador [could] reach the presidency and lead a true transformation of the country’s public life.”

Delgado also said that Muñoz’s desire to lead Morena was related to his ambition to set a Guinness World Record as the leader of three different parties.

“He was the leader of the PRI [Institutional Revolutionary Party], the PRD [Democratic Revolution Party] and now he’s obsessed in leading Morena as a personal whim in order to go into, as he says, the Guinness records,” he said.

The warring between the aspiring leaders followed a declaration by the National Electoral Institute (INE) that a survey of party members held to decide who would lead the party produced a tie between the two candidates.

Later on Sunday, Muñoz participated in a digital forum with party members in Puebla during which he rejected Delgado’s remarks.

“There is a campaign that [my] opponents have started and which I have already corroborated … [saying that] I want to take power from Andrés Manuel López Obrador; it’s the last recourse they have [to defeat my candidacy for the national presidency]. Andrés and I have been fighting together since 1989,” the 87-year-old deputy said.

“My adversaries are saying that untruthfully, stupidly and … dangerously. I personally blame Delgado, … this is extremely serious,” Muñoz said.

The lawmaker, who claims that he has already won the national presidency of Morena via an internal election process, said his aim as leader will be to pass on a party to his successor that is strong both in terms of ideas and members.

“Due to my age and the circumstances, I’m not seeking to replace anyone,” Muñoz said, adding that he will retire from public life once his term as national leader comes to an end.

He said on Twitter Sunday that he would be sworn in as national president of Morena at the party’s Mexico City headquarters at midday Monday. But he announced on Twitter this morning that an impediment had arisen.

“Today at 12:00 p.m. I was going to be sworn in as the legitimate president of the party. It turns out that the headquarters of the party were taken over in a violent assault brought about by the candidate I defeated. I demand the cessation of hostilities … [and] I ask the membership of Morena to declare themselves in favor of legality,” Muñoz wrote.

Delgado, who says that the internal election process has not yet concluded, wrote to the current national leadership of Morena to ask that they not allow Muñoz to be sworn in as president today.

Delgado says Muñoz is staging a coup against the party.
Delgado says Muñoz is staging a coup against the party.

Allowing it would be an attack on the “democratic principles of our movement,” he wrote. “Do not allow a breach of legality. We demand respect of the process of this consultation.”

In a Twitter post this morning, Delgado said that a third survey consulting party members about who should lead Morena has still not been conducted.

“We’re waiting for the third survey for the leadership of Morena, such as is provided for in the rules the aspirants signed before the INE [the National Electoral Institute]. They are trying to manipulate the results in order to carry out an illegal act [the planned swearing-in of Muñoz],” he wrote.

It is not the first time controversy has surrounded the election of a new national leader of Morena, which López Obrador founded as a political party in 2014.

Voting to elect delegates to choose a new leader was marred by violence in late 2019.

Alfonso Ramírez Cuellar is currently serving as Morena’s interim national president. The most recent person in the position permanently was Yeidckol Polevnsky, who has been accused by the ruling party of embezzlement and money laundering.

Source: El Universal (sp) 

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