Fox seeks alliance with opposition
"Let's govern together for change. Let's unite our desire to make advances,"
said during his private breakfast meeting with Roberto Madrazo, who was elected
head of the PRI in February, according to a transcript provided by the president's
office. "Reforming the state is a major task."
In a news conference after the breakfast, Madrazo said the meeting, which
included other leaders from his party, had been constructive.
"Today we drew closer to begin a constructive dialogue with the president,"
Madrazo, former governor of the oil-rich state of Tabasco. "We did not get into
detail on an agenda, but we did set out the party's disposition to have an ample
dialogue to put an agenda together."
Fox took office 17 months ago, ending 71 years of one-party rule by the
his National Action Party (PAN) does not have control of Congress, which has
blocked, delayed or gutted all of the president's key proposed reforms, such as
those on telecommunications, taxes, energy and Indian rights.
The PRI has more seats in Congress than any other party, but no party has
Even as democracy has become more developed in Mexico, Fox has had trouble
fulfilling his promises of change because he has failed to form an alliance with the
PRI or the No. 3 force in Congress, the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution
Saturday's session marked the first formal meeting between Fox and Madrazo
Madrazo became the PRI's head, although the two men previously had met
informally to discuss possible cooperation on certain issues.
According to the official transcript, Fox invited Madrazo and the other
at the meeting to join him "in legislative reforms to reach priority objectives in
security, social well being, and democracy."
Madrazo said they did not touch "prickly" issues such as recently launched
investigations into alleged illegal campaign financing by both the PRI and the PAN
in the last elections.
The PRI ruled Mexico with an authoritarian style. Since the party also
Congress, it rarely had trouble pushing through new laws.
Copyright 2002 Reuters.