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Mexico: Reactions Following Elections in the State of Mexico

On July 3, 2011, residents of the State of Mexico went to the polls to choose their next governor, who would succeed Enrique Peña. According to official preliminary information [es], the favored candidate was Eruviel Ávila from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the so-called “United for you” coalition, which obtained 62.54% of the votes.

As we anticipated in a previous post, the opinions expressed on citizen media regarding the topic in question were varied and energetic. As such, we have on the day of the electoral session, blogger, academic and analyst John M. Ackerman [es] warning against an election with abstentionism, while simultaneously expressing his opinion about the spread of opinion polls (questionable for him) regarding electoral preferences that favored Ávila:

En el Estado de México, la campaña de Eruviel Ávila apuesta precisamente a la abstención. Por ejemplo, la reiterada divulgación de encuestas que supuestamente reflejan un margen de victoria de más de 30 puntos porcentuales de Ávila sobre Alejandro Encinas y Luis Felipe Bravo Mena tiene precisamente el fin de desalentar la participación al convencer al ciudadano de que el resultado ya estaría determinado y que no importa si vota o no. El candidato del Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) sabe muy bien que cuando se eleva la tasa de participación es mucho más difícil “dirigir” los resultados por medio del voto corporativo, el acarreo y la compra y coacción.

In the State of Mexico, Eruviel Ávila's campaign bets precisely on abstention. For example, the reiterated spread of opinion polls that supposedly reflect a margin of victory of more than 30% for Ávila over Alejandro Encinas and Luis Felipe Bravo Mena precisely aims to discourage participation to convince citizens that the result would already be determined and that it didn't matter whether they vote or not. The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) candidate knows very well that when the rate of participation rises, it is much more difficult to “direct” the result by means of the corporate vote, leading in one direction, bribery and coercion.
Eruviel Ávila, new governor of the State of Mexico. July 3, 2011. Photo from Flickr user Eruviel Ávila (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Eruviel Ávila, new governor of the State of Mexico. July 3, 2011. Photo from Flickr user Eruviel Ávila (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Regarding the topic of abstentionism in the election, Alberto Aguirre M. [es] also expressed his opinion in blog Revoluciones México, at the same time as he spoke about that which, to his understanding, were the motives behind PRI's success:  

Paradojas del regreso del viejo PRI: ¿cómo explicar que en una jornada electoral pasada por agua y con baja participación -sólo cuatro de cada 10 ciudadanos del Estado de México inscritos en el padrón de votantes- Eruviel Ávila haya conseguido 2.4 millones de votos? En territorio mexiquense, el padrón crece año con año, pero la ciudadanía se aleja cada vez más de las urnas. Habrá quienes atribuyan a la buena reputación del priísta Enrique Peña Nieto, al innegable acuerdo popular con su desempeño como gobernante, esta victoria calificada como histórica. Otros pensarán que la centena de alcaldes se plegaron al proyecto 2012 y acataron las instrucciones del secretario general de gobierno, Luis Miranda, de cumplir con las metas del plan electoral que desplegó el PRI mexiquense, bajo la conducción del diputado federal Luis Videgaray. Pero las proyecciones de quienes idearon el programa de “redes humanas” era conseguir 3.4 millones de votos…

Paradoxes of the old PRI's return: How can we explain that in an electoral session that is a thing of the past and with low participation – only four out of every 10 citizens in the State of Mexico are inscribed in the registry of voters – Eruviel Ávila has gotten 2.4 million votes?  In the Mexican territory, the registry grows year after year, but the citizenry furthers itself more every time from the polls. There may be those who attribute this to PRI-ist Enrique Peña Nieto's good reputation, to the indisputable popular agreement with his performance as governor, this qualified victory is historic. Others may think that hundreds of mayors joined the 2012 plans and followed instructions of the government's Secretary General, Luis Miranda, of complying with the aims of the electoral plan that showed the Mexican PRI under the leadership of Federal Deputy Luis Videgaray. But the projections of those who devised the “human network” program were to reach 3.4 million votes…

Nevertheless, contrary to Ackerman, the author did not question the truthfulness of the polls, nor labeled the tendencies as “assumptions” that they demonstrated:

Es pertinente indicar que también ganaron los encuestadores, porque recuperan la capacidad para prever escenarios. Y quedan exhibidos los candidatos y los dirigentes políticos que los descalificaban.

It is pertinent to indicate that the survey takers also won, because they recuperated the capacity to foresee scenarios. And the candidates along with the leading politicians that disqualified them remained displayed.

Regardless of abstentionism, some social network users like jurist Miguel Carbonell (@MiguelCarbonell) encouraged the vote:

La participación ciudadana es la columna vertebral de toda democracia. Tenemos un compromiso con México, que nos necesita como nunca.

Citizen participation is the vertebral column of democracy. We have a compromise with Mexico, that it needs us now more than ever.

In the same sense, Dr. Carbonell expressed [es]:

Ninguna democracia puede sobrevivir sin participación democrática. Votar es un derecho y una obligación cívica.

No democracy can survive without democratic participation. Voting is a civic right and obligation.

In another order of ideas, for El Ciudadano X [es], the author of the blog México en Descomposición, the result was not surprising:

No ocurrió nada que no se esperara, el PRI con su candidato Eruviel Avila aplastó brutalmente a sus oponentes con el 64 de la preferencia electoral según encuesta de salida.

Nothing occurred that we did not expect, PRI with its candidate, Eruviel Avila brutally crushed his opponents with 64% of the electoral preference, according to the exit polls.

Additionally, upon expressing himself regarding the consequences of the election's results, El Ciudadano X, reflected on the future in the interim period for the current governing official of the entity in question:

Muchas cosas se pueden deducir de estos resultados, pero definitivamente la primera de ellas, es la muestra de poder que ha dado Enrique Peña Nieto, actual Gobernador del Estado de México y quien se perfila como el candidato del PRI a la presidencia de la república, tras estos resultados, no queda duda que es quien ocupará esa posición y que no hay nadie capaz de hacerle sombra, empezando por Manlio Fabio Beltrones.

These results can deduce many things, but definitively, the first thing is the demonstration of power that Enrique Peña Nieto, current governor of the State of Mexico and he who outlines himself as the PRI candidate for the presidency of the republic, has given following these results, not a single doubt remains that he will occupy that position and that no one is capable of casting a shadow on him, starting with Manlio Fabio Beltrones.

One of the candidates that was not favored made use of social networks to send his message following the election. Luis Felipe Bravo (@LF_BravoMena) from the National Action Party debased the electoral process, far from recognizing defeat:

Fuimos testigos de un proceso claramente inequitativo. Que refleja la amenaza presente del autoritarismo en el EDOMEX.

We were witnesses of a process that is clearly unfair. Which reflects the present threat of authoritarianism in the EDOMEX [State of Mexico].

Columnist Leo Zuckerman (@leozuckermann) spoke out regarding the candidates that lost and criticized the electoral process:

Me chocan los malos perdedores: “Si ganan, bien. Si pierden, cochinero” en http://t.co/q49od3t. Saludos.

Sore losers take me aback: “If they win, good.  If they lose, it's a dirty mess” in http://t.co/q49od3t. Regards.

Although later he clarified [es] his pronouncement:

Yo no digo q la elección en Edomex haya sido limpia. Simplemente: los q dicen q hubo “cochinero” q lo prueben. Y vayan a los tribunales. (sic)

I'm not saying that the election in Edomex was clean. Simply: those who say that it was a “dirty mess” should prove it. And they go to the courts.

On the other hand, Corajecivil [es], for the blog Mexicanos al Grito, pointed out the credibility crisis which the Mexican political system is going through:

La realidad es muy diferente, sin embargo… no se habla de un partido fuerte que recupera el espacio perdido. Se habla de la total falta de credibilidad en el marco político, ya no se habla de PAN, PRI, PRD, etc. Se habla de la clase política como aquélla que no encuentra soluciones ni respuestas para las problemáticas políticas, sociales y económicas del país.

Un país que se encuentra en guerra no únicamente por los errores de la derecha panista, sino también por la omisión del PRI y del PRD por defender los derechos de una sociedad civil indefensa.

The reality is very different, however… a strong party that recuperates lost space is not spoken of. We speak of the total lack of credibility in the political framework, not of PAN, PRI, PRD, etc. We speak of the political class such as that which does not find solutions nor answers to the country's political, social and economic problems.

A country that finds itself in war not only due to the errors of the PAN right, but also due to the omission of the PRI and PRD for defending the rights of a defenseless civil society.

In this way, with many expressions, the Mexican blogosphere reacted to the local electoral session in the State of Mexico, while social networks served as a forum not only to the public in general, but also to the protagonists of recent history, in this case, academics and the actual candidates.

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