Mexico’s 2012 Elections: The Return of the PRI

Issue Date January 2013
Volume 24
Issue 1
Page Numbers 128-141
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With Mexico seeming poised for a change election in 2012, why did it vote in a regime that ruled the country for much of the 20th century? Is the new PRI different from the old PRI? What are the implications of the PRI’s return for Mexico’s democracy? This article argues that several institutions on which the old regime was based remained intact after the transition, which made the return of the PRI almost inevitable. It suggests that the PRI’s return is a mixed blessing for Mexican democracy. On the one hand, the peaceful turnover of power among all parties is a welcome sign that democracy is maturing. Political parties should have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes—a sign that electoral accountability may be working. On the other hand, however, the return of the PRI is likely to reinvigorate several features of the old regime that remained unscathed by the country’s democratic transition, potentially representing a setback for Mexico’s young democracy.

About the Author

Gustavo A. Flores-Macías is assistant professor of government at Cornell University. He is the author of After Neoliberalism? The Left and Economic Reforms in Latin America (2012).

View all work by Gustavo Flores-Macías