Mexico: Presidential runner-up Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to found new party

Mr. Lopez Obrador, who declared fraud and protested his loss in the past two presidential elections, announced he will create a new party called the Movement for National Regeneration.

Christian Palma/AP
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, former presidential candidate of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), gives a thumbs up to his supporters at Mexico City's main plaza, the Zocalo, Sept. 9, 2012. Lopez Obrador, who led Mexico's main leftist party in the past two presidential elections announced Sunday he is leaving it behind and may start a new party, throwing uncertainty over the future of the nation's political left.

• A version of this post ran on the author's blog, The views expressed are the author's own.

Having lost two national elections in a row while refusing to recognize the winning candidate, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) announced that he is leaving the PRD and forming his own social movement or party called Morena (The Movement for National Regeneration). Most of the rest of the PRD, including Marcelo Ebrard [Mexico City's mayor and someone many say will serve as the PRD's next presidential candidate], will recognize Peña Nieto as president.

It's hard to say what Morena will accomplish because AMLO often fails to follow up on his promises. Remember that in 2006 he named himself "legitimate president" and promised to serve out a six year term with a shadow government to contrast Calderon? He completely gave up that charade after a few months. Those trying to predict what Morena will mean for the 2018 presidential election should keep that experience in mind. AMLO cares more about his personal power and media attention than any political movement, party, or ideology. For that reason, he's very willing to knock down and reshape the power structures around him until he finds something that works.

– James Bosworth  is a freelance writer and consultant who runs Bloggings by Boz.

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