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Cablegate: Mexico's Prd Moderates Close Ranks at Expense Of

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DE RUEHME #3800/01 3651341
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 301341Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4514
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/CDR USNORTHCOM PETERSON AFB CO PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MEXICO 003800

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR MX
SUBJECT: MEXICO'S PRD MODERATES CLOSE RANKS AT EXPENSE OF
AMLO AND SMALL PARTIES

REF: MEXICO 3594

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: The new moderate leadership of the
Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), on the heels of its
victory in the internal elections (reftel), closed ranks in
recent weeks at the expense of small parties and former party
standard bearer Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO). At its
last National Executive Council meeting, the PRD decided not
to form any political alliances for the July 2009 midterm
elections, not even with the tiny Social Democratic Party
(PSD), and expel any members who support candidates outside
the party including AMLO. The PRD also complained to the
Federal Electoral Institute that Convergencia and the
Worker's Party (PT) should not be able to use the same name
for their coalition--the Broad Progressive Front (FAP)--as
the three parties had used previously. Other members of the
Mexican left called for unity to avoid disaster in the next
elections. END SUMMARY.

Moderates Consolidate their Position
------------------------------------

2. (SBU) The PRD National Executive Council Meetings November
29-30 and December 13-14 helped moderates consolidate gains
in the aftermath of the disputed internal elections (reftel).
Newly anointed PRD President Jesus Ortega of the New Left
Faction (NLF) announced at the first meeting that the party
would conduct an investigation into irregularities of the
March 16 disputed internal elections, which according to
party insider Maricarmen Soria was designed to consolidate
his presidency, find out what went wrong, and warn the United
Left Faction (ULF) led by Alejandro Encinas and AMLO that it
had better shape up or face party sanctions. At the second
meeting the party decided not to form any political alliances
in the 2009 federal and state elections. Ortega later
announced the decision by the Council to take away membership
of anyone who supports candidates from other parties,
including AMLO, which is stipulated in the party by-laws.

AMLO Under Fire
---------------

3. (SBU) AMLO in recent weeks faced increasing criticism from
within the PRD. Carlos Navarrete, PRD Coordinator of the
Senate, said in a newspaper interview that AMLO was not a
viable candidate because he is rejected by half the voters.
The office of the brother of AMLO, Pio Lopez Obrador,
released a statement indicating that AMLO would leave the
party on January 25, which he later recanted. PRD Senator
Antonio Soto said that AMLO should decide one way or the
other whether he is leaving the party. However, Senator
Ricardo Monreal, who recently left the PRD for the PT in
order to continue the PT's representation in the Senate,
called for an end to bitter infighting among the Mexican
left. Deputy PRD Juan Guerra said that PRD party unity was
now the priority and told Poloff the PRD needs all factions,
including AMLO and his supporters. Despite his recent
actions, Ortega said that he wants to work with AMLO to
resolve any differences.

Smaller Parties Weakened
------------------------

4. (SBU) In the absence of an alliance with the PRD,
prospects for the smaller parties weakened in the last few
weeks. The leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD),
Jorge Carlos Diaz Cuervo, lamented that the PRD decided not
to form an alliance with PSD after weeks of discussions with
PRD leaders, which may mean the end of the PSD as a viable
political party. A frustrated Diaz Cuervo called the PRD
nothing more than a recycled PRI party run by party bosses
and announced he would seek a federal investigation into how
ex-candidate AMLO had been financing his political movement
since 2006, alluding to the widespread rumor that the
movement was subsidized by Mexico City government funds.
Meanwhile, the Executive Office of Political Parties of the
Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) ruled that the coalition
between Convergencia and the Worker's Party (PT) could not
use the name FAP. The Secretary General of Convergencia,
Pedro Jimenez, said the decision would be appealed to the
Judicial Branch's federal electoral tribunal. PRD had

MEXICO 00003800 002 OF 002


complained to IFE that the name of the coalition, which no
longer includes the PRD, should be distinct from that of the
previous electoral cycle when the FAP consisted of the PRD,
Convergencia and PT.

5. (SBU) COMMENT: Recent actions by the ruling moderate
faction of the PRD--an internal investigation, the rejection
of any alliances, the ejection of supporters of other
parties, a complaint about the name of the alliance between
Convergencia and PT, and criticism of AMLO--have made it more
difficult for AMLO and the small parties in recent weeks.
PSD, by many accounts, is in danger of disappearing
altogether next year. Convergencia and PT, who will have a
harder time campaigning if they cannot use the FAP brand
(which carried both parties and the PRD to electoral gains in
2006), may also lose their registration if they do not garner
two percent of Mexico's voters next July. If Ortega sticks
to his word, AMLO will have a hard time campaigning for
candidates from other parties within the PRD. Director of
AMLO's Social Movements Ricardo Ruiz told Poloff that AMLO
may request a temporary absence from the PRD to do so. With
no alliance and a deepening internal division in the PRD,
prospects continue to worsen for the Mexican left. 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 /
BASSETT

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