Monday, December 20, 2004
A prognostication of Mexican scandals in
By Enrique Andrade González
Early in 2005 a number of Mexican legal issues and
controversies will be addressed that will affect the pre-candidates being mentioned for the presidency in the 2006 elections,
as well as those vying for the mayoralty of Mexico City.
August the Electoral Institute of the Federal District, or Mexico City, ruled that the PAN had spent more than authorized
in its 2000 campaign. That decision however was challenged by the PAN before
Mexico’s Federal Electoral Tribunal, with the argument that it involved a matter that had already been sanctioned by
the Federal Electoral Institute.
Tribunal then decided that first the PAN sanction had to be set, before the matter could be reviewed in-depth. So the electoral fight will continue to run its course and the sanction may continue to be opposed.
In the meantime the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD)
in Mexico City is taking advantage of the doubts. The PRD has now filed criminal
charges against Creel, claiming that prior to the electoral resolution having been solidified the Attorney General of the
Federal District could have opened an investigation against Creel, in order to determine if he committed the crime set forth
in Article 356 of the Penal Code.
There are a number of arguments in his defense that
Creel will be able to make if he is brought before a judge, including the contention that this has already been ruled upon,
that a course of action has been prescribed for the transgression, or that the law is being applied retroactively. However he will have a problem when he tries to register as the PAN presidential candidate, for according
to Article 37 in the party’s statutes a candidate must not be under investigation or part of a criminal process.
It could thus be that the PAN candidate ranking highest
in the polls, and maybe the only party member who might be able to keep the PAN in power, could be disqualified for registry
by his own party come mid-2005.
PRD member and Mexico City Mayor Andrés Manuel López
Obrador, according to the same Parametría survey, holds first place in the party and candidate poll with a 36 percent average
over the year. Yet by next April he may face criminal contempt charges, for violating
a judicial order, and as such be under federal indictment when the time comes to seek the candidacy of his party.
When Congress reconvenes next March, the Rules Committee
of the Chamber of Deputies will put forward a justification order to the Chamber as a whole to proceed with criminal charges
against López Obrador. In all probability the Institutional Revolutionary Party
(PRI) and PAN majority in the Chamber will approve this measure and the trial against the mayor will take place.
Considering the likely scenarios mentioned heretofore,
it is not hard to imagine that new accusations and scandals will surface next year.
Those, added to the legal disqualification of adversaries, will turn Mexico’s political struggle into a circus
where victims and perpetrators face off on the fringe of rules, judges and sanctions.
Considering the possibility that internal candidate
selection rules and regulations of the parties themselves might exclude their own nominees, this could place the entire electoral
process — that will have to begin by October of 2005 — at risk.
Electoral, political and judicial authorities, the
media and society in general face the challenge of maintaining order and respect for the law.
This because, so far, today’s political protagonists have been unable to demonstrate an ability to be equal to
With but a year and one-half remaining before the
elections, the only certain forecast is that confusion is closer than harmony. The
time has come to think of a true Mexican political transition pact, one that will allow elections in 2006 according to clearly
set rules and assure not just a national development plan, but guarantee continuity in economic stability as well.
If not done now this will have to be carried out
after the disruption or tragedy.
Andrade González (a www.mexidata.info columnist) is an attorney and Mexican business consultant with offices in Mexico City. Lic. Andrade, who received his LL.M. in Constitutional and Protection (“Amparo”) Law
from the Universidad Iberoamericana, is also a law professor at the Universidad Intercontinental. His e-mail address is email@example.com.