2012 is a big election year
By Antonio De Jesús Aguado
In 2012 elections will be held for president of the Mexican Republic, governors, federal and local legislators, senators and mayors. In San Miguel de Allende, the pre-campaigns have begun.
According to the elections calendar of the IFE (Federal Electoral Institute), on July 1, 2012, Mexicans will vote to elect the president of Mexico, six governors, 128 senators, 500 federal legislators and 548 mayors, among them the mayor of San Miguel de Allende. Some interested citizens from the PAN (National Action Party), PRD (Party of the Democratic Revolution) and PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) parties have started campaigning among members of their own parties, although some of those parties have not yet announced a call for registration of candidates. The Code for Institutions and Electoral Procedures of Guanajuato states that the call for registration and pre-campaigns are regulated by rules set up within each party. All the existing parties in Mexico (eight) have different structures and rules.
Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI)
In the PRI party, some names of the citizens interested in being mayor have been released, and some of those pre-candidates have started their campaigns by hosting massive birthday parties, working with nonprofit organizations, and launching publicity through social networks. Although Luz María Rámirez Cabrera, secretary of the municipal committee of the PRI, said that currently there is just one formal pre-candidate who has already talked with the municipal leaders of the party and showed his interest, there are four other aspirants.
Ramírez Cabrerra made it clear that at this point potential candidates cannot use the logo of the party (PRI) and they cannot ask for votes. If they do, they can be punished by the Electoral Institute of Guanajuato. “Right now, the aspirants for the mayor’s office within the party can have private meetings with organizations or citizens, but they cannot ask for votes,” she said. She also commented that in January the call for registration of pre-candidates will be published and that the election of the PRI candidate will be decided by council meetings.
Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD)
In the PRD party, according to the president of the municipal committee, Francisco Tovar, currently three people are being considered as possible pre-candidates. Tovar mentioned that their call for pre-candidate registration will be published in January and enrollments will take place from February 3 to 17. He said that the maximum amount of money to be used by the pre-candidates will be 50,000 pesos, financed by them. In the municipality of San Miguel 978 voters belong to this party, although the election of the PRD municipal candidate will be decided by a state electoral council made up of about 150 members.
Partido Acción Nacional (PAN)
PAN is the only party in the municipality that has already announced its official pre-candidates. The call for registration was published on December 8, 2011, and enrollment ended on December 20. The party has three pre-candidates who will begin their intra-party campaigns on January 4. In this municipality the party has 390 registered members, who will vote on February 5 to select the PAN candidate for mayor.
Currently all the pre-candidates from the different parties can only rally for support among members of their own parties in order to win the internal election (the deadlines are managed exclusively by the municipal committees). After all the official candidates in the city have been chosen, they will register with the Electoral Institute of Guanajuato between April 15 and April 28 in order to officially start their campaigns for mayor of San Miguel de Allende.