Mexico: Opposition Wins Chiapas Governorship

Late on Aug. 21 Sami David David, the candidate of Mexico’s
Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in the Aug. 20
gubernatorial election in the southeastern state of Chiapas,
conceded defeat to Pablo Salazar Mendiguchia, the candidate of an
opposition alliance. This was first time the PRI had lost the
state since the party’s founding in 1929.

Late on Aug. 21 Sami David David, the candidate of Mexico’s
Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in the Aug. 20
gubernatorial election in the southeastern state of Chiapas,
conceded defeat to Pablo Salazar Mendiguchia, the candidate of an
opposition alliance. This was first time the PRI had lost the
state since the party’s founding in 1929.

The defeat came less
than two months after the party’s loss of the national presidency
to Vicente Fox Quesada of the center-right National Action Party
(PAN) on July 2.

Salazar, a federal senator, is a former PRI politician who was
backed by an eight-party coalition that included the PAN, the
leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) and the smaller
leftist Labor Party (PT). As a senator he was part of the
congressional Concord and Peacemaking Commission (COCOPA), which
helped broker talks between the government of President Ernesto
Zedillo Ponce de Leon and the leftist rebels of the Chiapas-based
Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN).

Analysts have
expressed hope that Salazar’s election will help clear the way
for renewed negotiations; the EZLN broke off talks in 1996 when
Zedillo failed to support legislation enacting the "San Andres
Accords," an agreement the government and rebels had signed on
indigenous rights.

COCOPA backed the accords, and Salazar has
indicated that he will try to repeal recent state laws that seem
designed to sabotage the agreement. Salazar will take office on
Dec. 8. [La Jornada 8/22/00]

The EZLN has not commented on the elections, neither endorsing
them, nor calling for a boycott. In San Andres Larrainzar
(Sakamch’en de los Pobres), a rebel stronghold, an EZLN
sympathizer told a reporter for the Financial Times: "None of
[the politicians] are any good. Let’s see if they comply with
what they promise."

Author: The Weekly News Update on the Americas

News Service: Nicaragua Solidarity Network of Greater

URL: http://www.eco.utexas.edu/faculty/Cleaver/chiapas95.html

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