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Institutional Revolutionary Party

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Template:Institutional Revolutionary Party/template The Institutional Revolutionary Party (Spanish: Partido Revolucionario Institucional or PRI) is a Mexican political party that wielded hegemonic power in the country – under a succession of names – for more than 70 years. It was the result of an idea of Plutarco Elías Calles to stop the violent struggle for power between the victorious fractions of the Mexican Revolution, and garantize the pacific if not democratic transmission of power for members of the party. Elections were just a ritual to simulate the appearance of a democracy. Electoral fraud, even with voter suppression and violence was one of the resources the party used when the political machine not worked. Many academics discuss if PRI regime can be considered totalitarian or just authoritarian.

The party, under its three different names, held every major political position for six decades. Only the odd federal deputy (diputado) or senator (senador) from other parties ever got elected, and the first state governor not to come from its ranks was not elected until 1989 (Ernesto Ruffo Appel of the PAN in Baja California).

The party had acquired a reputation for dishonesty to the extent that it is an open secret, and while this was admitted (to a degree) by some of its affiliates, its supporters maintained that the role of the party was crucial in the modernization of Mexico. The party was described by some scholars as a "state party", a term which captures both the non-competitive history and character of the party itself, and the inextricable connection between the party and the Mexican state for much of the 20th century.

Lázaro Cárdenas, perhaps Mexico's most-popular 20th-century president and most renowned for expropriating the oil interests of U.S. and European petroleum companies in the run-up to WW2, came from the ranks of the PRI. He was a person of leftist ideas who nationalized different industries and provided many social institutions which are dear to the Mexican people. Another famous PRI president, loved by some and despised by many, Carlos Salinas de Gortari privatized many industries, including banks and roads, and also negotiated NAFTA.

The PRI was heavily criticized for using the colors of the Mexican flag in its logo (something considered not unreasonable in many countries, but frowned upon in Mexico). This is expressly forbidden by law, but was flaunted with many excuses, perhaps the most imaginative being that the colours were transparent but the background behind was that of the Mexican flag.

The importance of the PRI in Mexican politics should not be underestimated: many top politicians in other parties (most notably PRD's Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas) come from its ranks, as well as state governors (usually PRI members who left the party after losing the gubernatorial candidacy, only to be picked up by an opposing party and go on to win the election).

In 2000 the PRI lost the presidential elections for the first time to Vicente Fox. Many considered that this event would mark the party's downfall. Yet, after much restructuring, the party has been able to make an impressive recovery, winning the greatest number of seats (almost the majority) in Congress in 2003. It also won several state governorships in the 2004 elections. Some analysts even consider that if the party manages to stay united in nominating one single candidate for the 2006 presidential elections, the PRI may be able to win.

In recent years the following have been key events in the history of the PRI:

  • 1988: Amidst stronger than ever suspicions of electoral fraud, Carlos Salinas de Gortari won the presidential election.
  • 1994: For the first time in decades a high profile politician was murdered: PRI presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio was shot during a campaign event.
  • 2000: For the first time since its inception, the PRI lost the presidency to an opposition candidate, Vicente Fox Quesada of the PAN.
  • 2003: In midterm elections, the PRI was practically wiped off the map in the Federal District – only one borough mayor (jefe delegacional) out of 16, and no first-past-the-post members of the city assembly – but recouped some significant losses on the state level (most notably, the governorship of former PAN stronghold Nuevo León). It also remained the largest single party in both chambers of the federal congress.
  • 2004: On August 6, in two controversial and closely-contested elections in Oaxaca and Tijuana, PRI candidates Ulises Ruiz Ortiz and Jorge Hank Rhon won the races for the governorship and mayoralty respectively. The PAN had held control of the mayor's office in Tijuana for 15 years.

External link

eo:Revolucia Institucia Partio es:Partido Revolucionario Institucional fr:Partido Revolucionario Institucional nl:Partido Revolucionario Institucional

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