Political Risk Analysis - PRI Efforts To Revamp Image Insufficient To Curb Waning Support - OCT 2017


BMI View: Mexico ' s ruling PRI will attempt to reshape its party image in an effort to recover waning support in the run-up to the July 2018 general election. While the likely nomination of a relative 'outsider' by the PRI will help keep the presidential race competitive, t hese moves will not be enough to prevent further congressional losses.

Amid waning popularity, Mexico's ruling Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) will attempt to reshape its image in a bid to fend off challenges from centre-right and populist candidates in the run-up to the 2018 general election ( see ' 2018 Election: A Big Opportunity For Populist Candidates ' , February 17). The action plan was laid out at the party's national assembly held from August 8-10, wherein party leaders approved major changes to the structure of party tickets. These include opening the ticket to party outsiders and lifting a requirement that presidential candidates be party members for a minimum of 10 years.

This change will give greater flexibility to President Enrique Pena Nieto in his choice for naming a potential successor, with one of the most likely contenders being Finance Minister Jose Antonio Meade. The well-regarded technocrat has served in various ministerial posts under both PRI and opposition Partido Accion Nacional (PAN) governments, and has importantly not been implicated in corruption allegations which have sullied many would-be PRI candidates. The nomination of an outsider untouched by corruption allegations would keep the 2018 presidential race competitive, in line with our long-held view. However, further congressional losses remain likely as the PRI's efforts to improve its image will not be enough to lift sagging public opinion substantially.

Thin Margins In June Elections Show Voter Frustration
Mexico - Result of June 2017 Edomex Gubernatorial Election, %
Source: Local press, INE, BMI

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