Mexico’s ruling party, Morena, is facing a significant test in the upcoming 2024 gubernatorial elections. The challenge lies not in competition from opposition parties but in the party’s ability to maintain unity as it transitions away from its charismatic founder and president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Since its establishment in 2014, Morena has predominantly served as a vehicle to promote López Obrador, lacking consistent ideology and composed of diverse elements recruited from other parties.
The party has already announced its nominee for the presidential race, Claudia Sheinbaum, who is regarded as a loyal follower of the president. However, the potential departure of frontrunner Marcelo Ebrard and the uncertainty surrounding former police chief Omar García Harfuch’s candidacy for the mayorship of Mexico City raise doubts about the party’s cohesiveness.
García Harfuch, known for his toughness and effectiveness in combating crime, faces competition from Clara Brugada, favored by the leftist wing of Morena. Brugada’s focus on creating “utopias” in low-income neighborhoods aligns with their ideals. The nomination for the mayoralty, considered a governorship due to the city’s size and historical significance, could significantly impact the future of Morena.
The party’s challenge lies in bringing together its disparate forces. The departure of Senator Lucía Meza, who failed to secure the party’s nomination, exemplifies the difficulties faced. Meza claims that the current governor of Morelos state, Cuauhtémoc Blanco, sabotaged her candidacy and highlights the challenges Morena faces in addressing corruption and criminal ties within its ranks.
To navigate this uncertain terrain, party leader Mario Delgado has proposed offering losing primary candidates a seat in the Senate. This move aims to maintain party unity and prevent potential defections while ensuring valuable voices continue to contribute to the political discourse.
As Mexico counts down the months until López Obrador’s departure from office, the success of Morena in the 2024 gubernatorial elections will determine the party’s ability to maintain its power and ideological coherence moving forward. Only time will tell if Morena can strike the delicate balance necessary to sustain its identity and political dominance.
1. What is Morena?
Morena is a political party in Mexico founded by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador in 2014 to promote his presidential campaign and political agenda.
2. Who are the frontrunners in the party’s primary race?
Former Mexico City mayor Claudia Sheinbaum and former foreign relations secretary Marcelo Ebrard are the leading contenders in Morena’s primary race.
3. Who is Omar García Harfuch?
Omar García Harfuch is a former Mexico City police chief who gained fame for his tough and effective approach to law enforcement. He survived an ambush attack by a drug cartel in 2020 but sustained injuries, while his bodyguards and a bystander were killed.
4. Why is the nomination for the mayorship of Mexico City significant?
The mayorship of Mexico City is considered a governorship due to the city’s population and historical importance. It has served as a launching pad for presidential candidates in the past.
5. What challenges does Morena face in maintaining party unity?
Morena faces challenges in balancing diverse elements within the party and addressing corruption and criminal ties within its ranks. The departure of candidates who were not selected and the need to maintain ideological consistency contribute to the party’s internal struggles.