June 7 marks one of the most important dates on this year’s Mexican calendar.
That is the day Mexicans will head to the polls to elect 500 federal congressmen, nine governors and several hundred new mayors and local legislators.
Nine states are holding gubernational elections on June 7. The PRI currently controls six of the nine, PAN rules in two states and PRD governs one. Along with the Chamber of Deputies elections, the gubernational contests will determine who the real power players will soon be.
Electoral participation in non-presidential national contests averages 48 percent of those registered to vote. In 2003, Mexican voter registration was at its lowest with a 41 percent turnout showing Mexican midterm elections tend to be low turnout affairs.
It’s expected that most Mexicans will vote with little enthusiasm with anticlimactic results due to the current distribution of political power. And here are three reasons why:
For the past three years, Mexico’s economy has been growing at a rather slow pace. The President, his wife and the country’s Finance Minister have all faced serious conflict of interest accusations. Violence is on longer on the mend and Peña Nieto has the lowest approval rating of any Mexican president since the mid-1990s Tequila crisis.
Survey after survey shows there is widespread dissatisfaction with the political system. The respected polling firm Parametría shows that Mexicans identify political parties, along with police forces as the most corrupt institutions in the country.
In some regions of Mexico, the question is not who will win, but if there will be any elections at all. Several southern states being led by CNTE, a left-wing, quasi-autonomous faction of the National Teachers’ Union, are calling for a boycott of the process.