Mexico’s 2018 presidential race grows chaotic

By Elliot Bullman

Mexico’s 2018 campaign season has not officially begun, but the race for the presidency is already a nail-biter.

For years, the country’s three mainstream parties have seenfalling support. Now alternatives are popping up left and right, fracturing old alliances and creating new ones.

Mergers and defections

López Obrador, who is now making his third presidential run – this time as leader of the left-leaning Morena Party, which hefoundedafter splitting from the Democratic Revolutionary Party in 2014 – is angling for the anti-PRI vote.

A crowded field

Politicians likely to make the cut include Jaime “el Bronco” Rodriguez, the cowboy boot-wearinggovernor of Nuevo León state, and Armando Ríos Piter, acentrist senatorfrom Guerrero state who hasdrawn comparisonswith French President Emmanuel Macron.

Party system collapse?

For a country’s citizens toabandon their habitual parties en masse, studies show,three factorsmust be in place: a huge corruption scandal involving a mainstream party; an electorate alienated by politics as usual; and a social crisis that diminishes support for the ruling government.

Mexico has all of these puzzle pieces in place. Under president Enrique Peña Nieto, the PRI has been plagued bycorruptionandscandal. Now, theOderbrechtbribery scheme – which has caused chaos in Brazil,Ecuadorand Peru – is hitting Mexico, too and is likely to prove to be th

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