Politics: Turning Point for the PRD, and the Rest of the Left
For almost three decades one party, the PRD, has been the almost exclusive expression of the electoral left in Mexico, but as the 2018 elections draw near, its fate is in question. Torn by factional strife since its inception, the party now faces its greatest challenge to date as it is being eclipsed by the Morena party Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador launched shortly after his second failed bid as the PRD’s presidential nominee. As more and more of the latter party’s leading politicians and rank-and-file activists jump ship or merely endorse López Obrador, the PRD is facing an existential quandary regarding its role in next year’s elections.
It has numerous options on paper, but each involves possibly insurmountable obstacles or potentially mortal threats. It could pursue in the presidential race the sort of alliance it has engaged in with the center-right PAN at the state level, but a party that is feeling very good about its odds may have little incentive to make concessions to such a minor partner, and such an overture could provoke an even greater exodus of members to Morena. Running on its own could seal its fate as an isolated minor party. To make matters worse, the organization is facing a new leadership contest, something it has struggled with mightily, even in the best of times.
But while badly wounded, the PRD continues to attract between 6% and 10% of electoral preferences in recent polls. If it can find a way to build a viable alliance, it might yet pay a determining role in a crowded presidential contest. It is important to follow developments within the left-wing this year. They could go a long way toward determining the country’s political future.
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