Former Estado de México Governor Enrique Peña Nieto is the only candidate on the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI) ballot for Mexico’s July 2012 presidential election, after the party’s internal filing deadline passed yesterday.
PRI is expected to formally certify Peña Nieto’s candidacy next month. Many believed that Peña Nieto would face intra-party competition for the nomination, but that hurdle was removed last Monday when Manlio Fabio Beltrones—the priísta former Senate president—bowed out of contention in the interest of party unity, clearing the path for Peña Nieto.
After becoming the sole PRI candidate yesterday, Peña Nieto said in Mexico City, “A wind of hope and change is blowing; the PRI will restore the greatness of Mexico because we believe in solutions, not illusions.” The number-one issue of the presidential campaign will center on President Felipe Calderón’s “war on drugs” and whether it is a success.
Calderón’s governing party, Partido Acción Nacional (National Action Party), has not yet selected a candidate for 2012 and the president is term-limited from seeking re-election. The Partido de la Revolución Democrática (Party of the Democratic Revolution) has selected former Mexico City Mayor Andrés Manuel López Obrador to run again; he narrowly lost the 2006 election to Calderón.