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Cablegate: Prd Internal Elections: Winner Declared -- But It

VZCZCXRO4555
RR RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHME #1461/01 1352047
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 142047Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1865
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RHMFIUU/CDR USNORTHCOM
RUEAHLA/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MEXICO 001461

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR MX
SUBJECT: PRD INTERNAL ELECTIONS: WINNER DECLARED -- BUT IT
AIN'T OVER YET

1. (SBU) Summary. Two months after its internal elections,
Mexico's Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) is still
struggling to identify who won. On April 30, the Party's
National Guarantees and Oversight Commission declared
Alejandro Encinas, the leader of the Party's United Left
Faction (ULF), the winner. Ten days later, though, PRD's
Technical Electoral Committee reversed the decision and
declared Jesus Ortega, the leader of the Party's New Left
(NLF) faction, the winner. Not surprisingly, Encinas is
challenging this decision. Confidence on both sides in any
declared results is practically non-existent. While the
party should likely survive this internecine dispute, it has
damaged party morale and undermined its image nationwide.
Best prospects for a resolution likely lie in some kind of
power sharing arrangement. End Summary.


Taking Turns as President-Elect
-------------------------------

2. (SBU) The two main candidates to the PRD's presidency,
Alejandro Encinas and Jesus Ortega, respectively representing
the party's radical and moderate wings, continue to dispute
the results of elections held almost two months ago. On
April 30, Encinas was declared the victor by the Party's
National Guarantees and Oversight Commission based on a count
of only 84 percent of the ballots. When Ortega challenged
this outcome before Mexico's national electoral tribunal,
that body ordered the PRD to count 100% of the votes. After
a full count, on May 10, the PRD's Technical Electoral
Committee revered its earlier decision and declared Jesus
Ortega the winner by 16,214-votes over Encinas. On May 11,
the PRD's newly installed National Executive Committee (CEN)
confirmed this result.


Encinas' Turn to Challenge the Results
--------------------------------------

3.(SBU) Encinas wasted no time in calling foul comparing the
process to the 2006 hotly contested 2006 presidential
election, which many in the PRD consider to have been rigged.
Encinas' campaign secretaries Gerardo Norona and Juan Manuel
Avila also cited irregularities in key Ortega states and
challenged the stewardship of the process by interim party
president Guadelupe Acosta. Encinas' campaign is appealing
the outcome back to PRD's Oversight Committee, as prescribed
by party statues.

4.(SBU) PRD insider Mary Carmen Soria believes Encinas is
contesting the result internally because he lacks iron-clad
proof that will stand up in the federal electoral tribunal --
and because the oversight committee is composed of Encinas
supporters who might tip the scales back in his favor yet
again. Distrust of the national tribunal is widespread among
most PRD members, who bitterly resent that body for
validating the results of the 2006 vote. Encinas-insider
Raul de la Paz maintained that former presidential candidate
and Encinas, main backer Lopez Obredor's quick endorsement
of an Oversight Commission ruling is designed to win over a
broad range of PRD members.

Comment
-------

5.(SBU) After two months of mutual recriminations and
competing charges of corruption, it is unlikely either side
will accept results suggesting the other side has won. While
the belabored process has damaged party morale and its
national standing, rumors of an impending split within party
ranks still appear premature. Logistically, AMLO would be
hard-pressed to form a new party and win a significant
numbers of seats in the 2009 mid-term elections.

6.(SBU) While Ortega and Encinas show little sign of
relenting at the present moment, some form of negotiated
power-sharing arrangement between the two sides appears to
offer the best prospect for a way out of this situation. The
next PRD Congress, for example, in June may establish new
rules for the selection of a permanent President and General
Secretary. According to party insiders, the new PRD Congress

MEXICO 00001461 002 OF 002


may even consider changing the party's structure, creating an
internal "frente" or block of leaders representing party
factions. Each representative would carry voting weight
according to the faction-size he/she represented. The devil
will be in the details, however. Encinas-ally Garcia Ochoa
indicated his faction might try to incorporate other leftist
political parties, re-fashioning the party to give more
weight to radical elements. Both Garcia Ochoa and Iran
Moreno (an Ortega allay), however, said that despite
differences over what the Frente would look like, Moreno said
the Frente idea was gaining traction within the party.

7.(SBU) In the meantime, the barbs continue to fly exposing
the party's vulnerabilities and costing the party credibility
with the broader Mexican politic.

Visit Mexico City's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/mexicocity and the North American
Partnership Blog at http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/nap /
GARZA

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