While Mexico real estate buyers and even many expats already living in Mexico don’t pay much attention to Mexico’s elections, federal policies can have an important role in shaping various aspects of lifestyle for Americans and Canadians living here. For example, the policies of the PAN (National Action Party) – have been largely credited with Mexico’s economic growth over the past decade during the presidency’s of Vicente Fox and Felipe Calderon. During this time, Mexico has become the world leader in new highway infrastructure, opening access to many new areas for expats to travel to and even live in on a very low budget, and telecommunications such as excellent cellphone coverage, high-speed internet and wireless networks have become commonplace.
At the same time, the drug related conflicts that harmed various pockets in the north of the country have been a central issue in this year’s presidential debates. President Calderon’s (PAN) policy of war on drugs has led to escalated conflicts; some criticize his policy as creating unnecessary violence, others hail it as a decisive and firm stand that will end the power of drug lords bringing better long-term results in the future.
While favorite expat areas, While favorite expat areas, such as Playa del Carmen real estate and the entire Yucatan Peninsula, are largely free of this kind of violence, these conflicts remain one of the first questions that soon-to-be expats will (justifiably) ask. The policy of Mexico’s next president – to be elected in July – on this and economic policies will be important for how Americans and Canadians feel about making this country their new home, and for those interested mostly in investment.
Results Mixed After Big Debate
As the election date of July 1 draws near, however, Mexican polls show mixed results of who is currently the country’s favorite candidate. This week brought an important landmark with a televised debate from the 4 presidential candidates. Reuters, among other sources, has cited poll results giving a clear lead to one candidate, with a breakdown as follows:
Enrique Pena Nieto – According the poll cited by Reuters, Pena Nieto “retains a clear lead” with 36.3 percent favoring him as the next president, nearly 13 percent above his nearest rival. Pena Nieto is the candidate of the Institutional Revolution Party (PRI), which held the presidency from the end of the Mexican Revolution a bit less than a century ago until Vicente Fox (PAN) was elected president in 2000. The party still holds largely unrivaled support in the country’s rural areas. Pena Nieto was the most recent governor of the state of Mexico, which is surrounds the capital district of Mexico City and is largely covered by its suburbs. During his time as governor, he had a large number of modern new highways built in the state.
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador – Lopez Obrador is the candidate for the leftist PRD (Democratic Revolution Party); he came in a very close second place in the 2006 election – so close, that he and his supporters spent several months claiming he was the real winner of the election, shutting down an important street in Mexico City with a camp-out protest. Investors generally feel that his hard-left policies would hurt the country’s economy and possibly slow down Mexico’s rapid modernization, yet he has fairly strong support especially in the country’s very large low-income urban population. The same poll from Reuters put him at second place with 23.4 percent, well behind Pena Nieto.
Josefina Vazquez Mota – Almost neck-in-neck with Lopez Obrador is Vazquez Mota, the candidate for the conservative National Action Party (PAN) – the same party as Mexico’s current President Felipe Calderon. She has 22 percent support according the poll. Yet, most polls have put her ahead of Lopez Obrador.
Gabriel Quadri – Quadri is the candidate of the relatively new and small New Alliance Party, which has strong ties to the country’s teachers’ union. He shows low popularity at around 2 percent. Yet a different poll showed that a very high number of viewers – 18 percent – felt he performed best in the May 6th debate. Other polls place his support for president as high as 10 percent, but in all cases, he is the least popular of the 4.
In contrast to this very clear lead in the polls cited by Reuters, one popular and fairly reliable election website (www.eleccion2012mexico.com) indicates a virtual three way tie between the main candidates, as follows:
- Pena Nieto (PRI, frontrunner according to Reuters) – 32%
- Lopez Obrador (PRD, leftist party) – 32%
- Vazquez Mota (PAN, same party as current president Calderon) – 33%
While most polls tend to show that there support is strongest for Pena Nieto, results are still too varied to predict with a great deal of confidence. As the election date of July 1 draws nearer and further results turn up, we will continue to post updates.
TOPMexicoRealEstate.com; Mexico's Leading Network of Specialists for Finding and Purchasing Mexican Properties Safely