Andrés Manuel López Obrador during his morning conference on Wednesday. Presidency of the Republic (EFE)
The race for presidential succession has already entered decisive phases. This was stated by Andrés Manuel López Obrador in his press conference on Wednesday, a day after Marcelo Ebrard announced his departure from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as of next Monday. "This process has already begun and that is why Ebrard resigned because, as it is public knowledge, he aspires to be a candidate," the president said. Lopez Obrador added that he hopes that the other candidates will soon separate from their positions and said he is analyzing who will replace them. "It is possible that these days, those who aspire also submit their resignations, who is going to replace them? There is still time because it is just the announcement," he said about the adjustments in his Cabinet.
"I want to thank very especially President López Obrador for his support, his trust, his generosity, his guidance and his closeness all these years, and so we will continue the years to come," Ebrard said in his farewell message. It was also an announcement that from June 12 he will dedicate himself fully to the campaign for the candidacy of Morena. The internal contest of the ruling party forces López Obrador to make at least two changes in key positions of his government. He will have to appoint a new foreign minister and a substitute in the Interior Secretariat before the foreseeable departure of Adán Augusto López, who has not yet said when he will leave his post. "The times of the Lord are perfect," Lopez wrote on his social networks after the message of his cabinet colleague and also asked for "serenity and patience."
"I have time to think," López Obrador insisted. The so-called Fourth Transformation anticipates other changes in key positions, in line with the aspirations of the head of government, Claudia Sheinbaum, and the coordinator of the Morena caucus in the Senate, Ricardo Monreal, who have also raised their hands for the elections in 2024. In these cases, it is not clear that they will submit a final waiver and it is considered that they will apply for a license. In any case, there will most likely be rearrangements, even if temporary. Monreal said he respects Ebrard's strategy, although he accused the early riser: "I think he is getting ahead." Sheinbaum, who leads most polls, has been more cryptic. "We are doing very well. I am happy and encouraged," the head of government wrote on her social networks.
The key date to clarify the panorama of the coming months is Sunday, when Morena is scheduled to hold a National Council for each candidate to put on the table their proposals for the rules of the succession game. The main train wreck is between Sheinbaum and Ebrard, who have conflicting views on the polls that will be held to define the candidacy. Lopez Obrador on Monday summoned the four main candidates at a restaurant in downtown Mexico City and made it a condition to participate in the internal process that the corcholatas resign. The party leadership, in line with the president's instructions, has said that it is an indispensable requirement for there to be an "even floor" and for everyone to start on equal terms. "If the Council of Morena approves that they must resign, then so it should be," added the Executive.
"For the first time there is no covering, there is no dedazo, there is no imposition," López Obrador said. The president has insisted several times this week, critical to the internal battle and to strengthen unity in the ruling bloc, which he has no favorites. The president has also set his sights on opposition movements. The Va por México coalition of the opposition PRI, PAN and PRD announced that it will announce the method of selecting its presidential candidate no later than June 26. "In the conservative bloc, there we already know that they are going to consult with the bosses, with the oligarchs to seek the agreement, as they have done in recent times," he said.
López Obrador has also had winks for candidates who have felt "mistreated," such as Gerardo Fernández Noroña. The Labor Party deputy, who has a higher intention to vote than López and Monreal according to some polls, has felt ignored and has complained that he was not invited to the dinner that the president convened this week. "By excluding me, millions of Mexicans are excluded," the legislator said. "He has every right to participate," the president said. He also stated that the process is open for members of the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico, such as Senator Manuel Velasco, who has already received his membership in the so-called club of corcholatas. The prerogative in the ruling bloc is to avoid ruptures at all costs.
The Council of Morena monopolizes the eyes and the bishops of the campaign teams anticipate an iron and very technical negotiation on the methodology of the surveys, such as the questions that will be included and the selection of the polling houses that will carry out the demoscopic exercise. If we follow the line of other internal processes, it is most likely that there will be at least two surveys: the first with a large number of participants and one more with a smaller group of candidates, a kind of second round. "I haven't heard anyone who opposes it, plus it's a method that has proven effective," Lopez Obrador said of the polls. In just under a year, Mexicans are called to the polls to elect a new president and renew the composition of both chambers.
Subscribe hereto the newsletter of EL PAÍS Mexico and receive all the informative keys of the news of this country