Search

 

Cablegate: Mexican Senator Santiago Creel Removed As Pan

VZCZCXRO4217
PP RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHME #1873/01 1721231
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 201231Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2283
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MEXICO 001873

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL ENRG PINR MX
SUBJECT: MEXICAN SENATOR SANTIAGO CREEL REMOVED AS PAN
SENATE PARTY LEADER

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: PAN's surprise removal of the party's
Senate Leader June 9 stemmed from dissatisfaction with his
ability to win passage of an administration-backed energy
reform bill. A party insider and a think tank expert told
Poloff that Santiago Creel's poor relationship with the media
had undermined his effectiveness in making the case for the
bill to the public. A colleague and supporter of Creel
inside the Senate suggested poor personal relations between
PAN President German Martinez and Creel also factored
significantly into the decision. Creel was replaced by
Gustavo Madero who has made it clear campaigning for adoption
of the energy reform bill will be a priority and has already
ruffled opposition party feathers in the process. The move
signals that President Calderon has shored up his position
within the party to the extent that he and Martinez could do
something like this to someone who was the President's
strongest rival just two years ago. END SUMMARY.

2. SBU) Many reasons contributed to PAN President German
Martinez's decision to replace Creel, including his inablity
to parry opposition PRD efforts to de-rail fast track
approval of energy reform in April, revelations that he had
fathered an out-of-wedlock child with a prominant actress and
friction with the party's leadership. Creel also didn't
catch many breaks from Mexican media, with which he
maintained a conflictual relationship. Political analyst
Juan Pardines pointed out that Creel had alienated the major
broadcasters in particular by supporting the Electoral Reform
law that severely reduced the revenue stream from political
ads and last year applauding the Mexican Supreme Court's 2007
decision to overturn many of the anti-competition provisions
of the 2006 Radio and Television Law. Resentful of Creel,
the two broadcast giants, TV Azteca and Televisa, have made
it a point to deny him the television coverage necessary to
making the administration's case for energy reform.

Creel Fails to Deliver on Energy Reform

3. (SBU) Juan Carlos Luna, the PAN Party's Director General
for International Relations, maintained that, media hostility
aside, Creel had simply mishandled PRD's opposition to the
administration's energy bill, saying party leaders were
frustrated that the Senate agreed to a 71 day debate on
energy reform in return for an end to the PRD's April seizure
of Congress. He said the lengthy energy debate has played
into the hands of the PRD, which has framed the reform bill
as an assault on Mexican sovereignty, undermined the
administration's chances of winning adoption of meaningful
reform and enabled the opposition party to regain some of the
ground and credibilty it lost over the past year and a half.

5. (SBU) Luna also alleged that the delay has also afforded
PRI an opportunity to squeeze concessions out of the PAN to
secure its support. Luna claimed that President Calderon
reportedly agreed not to remove unpopular, underperforming
PRI Governors of Puebla and Oaxaca, both under a cloud for
heavy-handed actions in 2006. (Comment: We believe it is
unlikely that Calderon would seriously consider exercising
his constitutional right to remove sitting governors. End
Comment.) Luna also said that the PRI has asked PAN not to
seriously contest local and gubernatorial elections next year
in areas where PRI maintains solid control, as well as to
hold back in pushing substantial labor reform that would
threaten PRI union bosses. Luna indicated that Creel has
been made the scapegoat for PAN concessions to PRI demands.

All Politics is Personal

6. (SBU) According to PAN Senator Adriana Gonzalez, a
colleague and friend of Creel's, however, the primary reason
that Creel was dismissed was because of a difficult working
relationship between Martinez and Creel. It also bears
recalling Creel ran against Calderon for the PAN presidential
nomination. Gonzalez maintained Martinez feels more
comfortable with the newly named PAN Party Senate leader,
Gustavo Madero. Gonzalez also expressed disdain over
Martinez's decision to name Madero without consulting with
PAN Senators as prescribed by internal PAN party rules.
According to International Republican Institute
representative in Mexico Juan Henao, the move will hurt the
President and party in coming months as the appearance is
that it was done in a non-transparent fashion.

Madero Bio

7. (U) Meanwhile, Gustavo Enrique Madero Munoz, named to
replace Creel, is already making headlines. Madero, from
the state of Chihuahua, is nephew of the legendary

MEXICO 00001873 002 OF 002


revolutionary leader Francisco I. Madero and describes
himself as &one more of the barbarians from the North.8
Madero has a reputation for being direct and tough when
negotiating. While polite by nature, he can become extremely
severe in responding to reporters who do not have their facts
straight. He exercises regularly and is in good physical
shape. He makes an attractive case as the point person for
promoting and defending PAN and GOM economic proposals given
his experience and contacts with both the private and public
sectors.

9. (SBU) COMMENT: Although the magnitude of the change, and
the way in which it was handled, indicate that Calderon has
consolidated his position in the party, the replacement of
Creel comes from a position of legislative weakness in a last
ditch effort to recover lost ground on energy reform. Madero
has made it no secret he intends to make winning passage of
the administration's energy reform bill a priority.
Ironically, though, his initial steps seem to have set back
efforts to secure the PRI votes he needs. Suggestions that
he was reneging on "deals" with the PRI to secure its support
and his announcement that he was prepared to peel off PRI
Party Senators one by one only provoked a hostile PRI Party
rebuke. Calderon already has expended significant political
capital on a number of major initiatives in his first year
and a half in office--fighting organized crime, reform of the
penal justice system, and pension and tax reform. While the
administration's energy bill will not solve all of the
problems of Mexico's energy sector, it would be a major
political victory if the new PAN coordinator could somehow
pull it off and add another notch to Calderon's belt. END
COMMENT.
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

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC