Wednesday, June 19, 2024

New political alliance calls for opposition parties to back common candidate in 2024

Six civil society organizations have joined forces to create a new alliance opposed to the government of President López Obrador.

Made up of groups including Sí por México (Yes for Mexico) and Frente Cívico Nacional (National Civic Front), the Unid@s alliance was officially launched in Mexico City on Tuesday.

The @ symbol in Mexican Spanish has been used in recent years in place of the gendered “a” or “o” at the end of words to indicate gender neutrality.

Leaders of the six groups are calling on the main opposition political parties – the National Action Party (PAN), the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) and the Citizens Movement party (MC) – to back a common candidate at the 2024 presidential election.

Launch event Unidos
Sí por México, which is a member of Unid@s, was founded in 2020 by Gustavo de Hoyos, left, and Claudio X. González, right. Sí por México

The first three political parties have already been allied in a coalition called Va por México (Go for Mexico) since December 2020, but cracks in the pact began to appear last month after PRI deputies supported a bill proposing authorization of the use of the military for public security tasks until 2028. A modified version of the bill passed the Senate last week.

The Unid@s backers, among whom are businessman Claudio X. González and former Mexican Employers Federation chief Gustavo de Hoyos, want the Va por México parties to put their differences aside and refocus on their electoral opposition to the ruling Morena party and its allies.

They believe that the MC should join forces with the PAN, PRI and PRD to form one cohesive political bloc that nominates a single candidate in 2024 because the presence of two or more opposition hopefuls will only split the anti-Morena vote.

The Unid@s representatives said that dialogue between the opposition parties to decide on a mutually agreeable candidate selection process is urgent, according to a Reforma newspaper report on Tuesday’s launch event. 

Such a candidate would likely face either Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard or Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum at the 2024 election. Both Ebrard and Sheinbaum are openly campaigning for the Morena nomination.

Members of the Unid@s alliance also believe that the opposition parties should field common candidates in future congressional, gubernatorial and municipal elections.

“There is an opportunity to turn the page and build unity,” said de Hoyos, a leader of Sí por México, which was founded in 2020 shortly before Va Por México by de Hoyos, Claudio X González and others.

“The alliance is alive, the opposition is standing up to fight,” de Hoyos said. “…There are grievances that have to be repaired, trust that has to be earned again, but the call from citizens is to build a united opposition.”

González, an outspoken government critic and founder of the nongovernmental organization Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity, said on Twitter before Tuesday’s launch event that all “defenders of freedom, democracy and institutions are welcome” to join Unid@s.

Promoting the new alliance on Twitter, de Hoyos wrote that “regardless of your origin, occupation, religion, gender, interests or preferences, … we have something in common: we’re Mexicans.”

“And that’s enough to be #Unidos [united]. We’re going to build a new arrangement between citizens and politics. This October 11, a new era begins,” he added.

At his regular news conference on Tuesday morning, López Obrador was dismissive of the new alliance, which also includes Poder Ciudadano, Sociedad Civil México, UNE México and Unidos por México.

“Claudio X. González is calling for a new alliance that is called … Unid@s. It’s the UFC, in other words – unidos fuerzas conservadoras [united conservative forces],” he said, using a label – “conservative” – with which he frequently disparages previous governments and his current political opponents.

With reports from Reforma, Proceso and El Universal 

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