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Column 112612 Wall

Monday, November 26, 2012

Felipe Calderon Enjoys His Final Days as President of Mexico

By Allan Wall

In a matter of days Felipe Calderon is scheduled to step down as President of Mexico, at the end of a six-year term, to be replaced by Enrique Peña Nieto.  The transition is proceeding on schedule.

Mexico held elections this past July 1st, choosing a new president and electing an entirely new bicameral Congress.  For a look at the Mexican electoral system and a comparison with that of the United States, see my previous article Elections in Mexico and the US: Comparisons and Contrasts.

The winner of the presidential election, Enrique Peña Nieto, of the PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional), is scheduled to take office on December 1st for a six-year term as President.

The incumbent President Felipe Calderon of the PAN (Partido Acción Nacional) is finishing up his six-year term, which began in 2006, and he has been working together with Peña Nieto in the transition.

As for the new Congress, it began its session on September 1st, and thus has been working for several months now.

In the Mexican system, following Election Day (for president, every six years on the first Sunday of July) the president-elect doesn't take office for another five months, on December 1st, but the new congress takes office two months later, on September 1st. That means the Congress serves three months under the incumbent, outgoing president.

The biggest accomplishment thus far has been the labor reform, submitted by President Calderon, and modified and finally passed by Congress.

As for Felipe Calderon, he seems to have been enjoying his last few months in office.  The pressure is off and Calderon is able to do a lot more fun things, like public infrastructure dedications and things that like.

Here are a few of Calderon's end-of-presidency activities:

  • On Oct. 28th, President Calderon was at the re-inauguration of Parque Recreativo Portezuelo Grande, a touristic park in the State of Mexico. Also present was Eruviel Avila, governor of the State of Mexico. Calderon, Avila and Secretary of the Economy Bruno Ferrari competed in a go-kart race, and Calderon's children Maria and Juan Pablo also got to drive go-karts.
  • On October 30th, Calderon teamed up with Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard to dedicate the new subway line, Metro Línea #12, in Mexico City. As part of the dedication, both Calderon and Ebrard got to ride on a train on the new line.
  • On November 5th, Calderon was in Zacatecas, Zacatecas, at the re-inauguration of the Teatro Calderon, where he heard the Zacatecas Symphony Orchestra perform. The president requested that the orchestra play "Las Golondrinas."
  • On November 6th, President Calderon opened a new dam, the La Yesca Dam, on the border of Jalisco and Nayarit states.
  • On November 16th and 17th, President Calderon was in Cadiz, Spain for the 22nd Annual Ibero-American Summit, which brings together leaders from Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula.
  • On November 18th Calderon was in Austin, Texas, at the new Circuit of the Americas racetrack, where he watched 22-year old Mexican race car driver Sergio "Checo" Perez compete in the Formula One United States Grand Prix. Checo finished in 11th place, first place was won by British driver Lewis Hamilton.
  • On November 24th, President Calderon participated in a bicycle race in the Yucatan Peninsula. The race was on the newly-widened and modernized Campeche-Merida highway. Calderon actually rode 75 kilometers, of the 175 total kilometers of the race.

On December 1st, the Calderon presidency is scheduled to come to an end, with the torch passed to Enrique Peña Nieto.

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Allan Wall, an educator, resided in Mexico for many years.  His website is located at http://www.allanwall.info/.


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