Mexico's PRI seeks path back to power
IXTAPAN DE LA SAL, Mexico (AP) -- With recriminations over the loss of
Mexico's presidency after 71 years and political shots at new President Vicente
Fox, leaders of the party that long ran Mexico were planning a course back to
power on Sunday.
Gov. Fernando Silva Nieto of San Luis Potosi told delegates that the meeting
the National Political Council, which ended Sunday, was "the most important in
many, many decades" for the Institutional Revolutionary Party, known as the
For party loyalists, it marked an end to the months of floundering that
the loss of the July 2 presidential election to Fox, of the center-right National
Action Party, and a start toward reshaping a party that had always taken orders
from PRI presidents.
The PRI remains Mexico's best-organized party, with the power to put its
on national politics. It still governs 19 of Mexico's 31 states and holds a plurality
in both the Congress and Senate.
For months, critics had demanded the ouster of party President Dulce Maria
Sauri, saying she shared the blame for the July defeat.
But rivals for the post also suffered setbacks and on Sunday the council
Sauri's position as party leader -- though she could be replaced at a national
convention in November, not next year as she has proposed.
The PRI's biggest problem was determining how to choose officials. In the
national presidents have imposed their will on the party, not only determining
policies but leaders.
The council voted to have party leaders elected democratically, though
it did not
yet determine a method. Some want 65,000 regional party representatives to
vote; others suggested having the party's labor, farm and other sectors involved.
The council displayed a party that seemed to be turning its back on Mexico's
past three PRI presidents, who forced through free-market policies that reversed
much of the party's state-centered politics of the past.
In a series of declarations, the party criticized tax increases, increased
privatization of the energy sector and cuts in social programs -- all policies that
the PRI itself has backed in recent years.
Copyright 2001 The Associated Press.