Tuesday 26 June 2018

In Yucatán, it's a horse race between PAN and PRI candidates for governor

La politica es la politica has posted 32 articles - one for each state in Mexico, including Mexico City - in advance of the July 1, 2018, presidential election. For links to all 32 articles, scroll to the bottom of this post.

The state of Yucatán is in southeast Mexico, occupying the the northern part of the Yucatán Peninsula. The state population is about 1.1 million, and the colonial city of Mérida is the state capital.

Yucatán has one of the lowest crime rates in Mexico, and this is reflected in the polling. For the upcoming election – the people of Yucatán are voting for a new governor as well as federal deputies and, of course, the president of the republic – the major concern is the economy and unemployment (29% of respondents). This is followed by combatting corruption (25%), insecurity (21%), and poverty (20%).

Aside from the low crime rate, Yucatán also has some good economic news. In March the state announced it would invest 35 million pesos (~US $1.9 million) to enhance the restoration of ancient Mayan cities. As well, in early May the German manufacturer Leoni AG – which makes wires, cables and wiring systems, primarily for the automotive industry – announced that it had started building a 40,000-square-meter factory in Mérida, where it will provide direct employment to 2,000 people, and estimated indirect employment to an additional 10,000.

Politically, the state’s governor, Rolando Zapata Bello, is a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). The polls have Zapato Bello leaving office with a 51% percent approval rating. Of the three sitting federal senators, two are members of the National Action Party (PAN) and one is PRI.

Because Yucatán has not suffered the same level of turmoil as other states, this is not a change election. The polls support his notion, with PRI candidate Mauricio Sahuí Rivero and PAN candidate Mauricio Vila Dosal tied with 39% support. By comparison the left-of-center Morena candidate Joaquín Díaz Mena, is far behind with only 19% support.
PAN and PRI are tied in the run for governor

Of note is that at the state level in Yucatán the PAN has not allied with the left-of-center Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD). As the result the PRD candidate, Jorge Zavala Castro, is scraping the barrel with 3% support.

There is a similar story when it comes to federal deputies. Here, the PRI has 34% support and the PAN 30%. Morena, by comparison, has only 23% support – low, but slightly higher than the support for the Morena candidate for governor.

It should be noted that corruption is a concern in Yucatán, the difference being that it has not been connected to cartel activity and violent crime, as in other states.

Local PAN-Citizens’ Movement (MC) candidate for state deputy, Lily Romero, was formerly a city councilor in Mérida, where she was tasked to monitor the management of public resources. She did, whereupon she found irregularities, leading to an administrative sanction. The result has been harassment and legal intimidation on the part of the state government, which is allied with PRI force on council.
Mily Romero campaigning

The plan for the PAN, as with the other political parties, is to take control of as many levels of government as possible. In Yucatán, it is critical to also gain power at the municipal level in Mérida. In this light, the PAN candidates for mayor and governor, Renan Barrera Concha and Mauricio Vila Dosal, recently signed a declaration titled "Mérida 2050", which covers issues such as sustainable urban development , healthcare, transportation, and economic equality.

It should be noted that the relatively low crime rate has translated into a safer environment for journalists.  Yucatán has recorded one murder of a reporter – back in 1921.

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