Enrique Peña Nieto Elected President of Mexico
Calls for National Unity to Adopt Needed Reforms
MEXICO CITY, July 2, 2012 /CNW/ – Marking an important generational shift in Mexican leadership, 49 million Mexicans voted Sunday to elect Enrique Peña Nieto as the 89th President of Mexico. According to Mexico’s Federal Electoral Institute Peña Nieto, the 45-year-old former Governor of the State of Mexico, will garner about 38 percent of the votes cast, approximately seven percent higher than the second place finisher. He will take office December 1, 2012.
Peña Nieto’s victory sets the course for a new direction for the future of Mexico. The president-elect built his campaign on an aggressive and highly detailed set of 255 national and regional “commitments” on which he has pledged to deliver. It is this style of public accountability and transparency that has positioned him as a staunch departure from the past reputation of his party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (commonly known as the PRI).
In his victory speech, President-elect Peña Nieto stressed the importance of ending the political polarization in Mexico that has prevented the adoption of critical reforms; continuing the fight against drug trafficking and violence; and promoting economic growth policies that help alleviate poverty in the country. Below are translated excerpts from his victory speech, delivered early Monday morning:
- “I will lead a democratic presidency that understands the changes the country has experienced over the last decades, and acts according to the new democratic realities that we enjoy today. A full democracy bursting with personal liberties and social participation. I will lead a modern and responsible presidency, open to criticisms, always ready to listen and one that will take all Mexicans into account.”
- “…I reiterate what I have already said in this very hall during the campaign; whoever does not show a firm commitment to democracy, personal liberties and transparency, has no place in this project to transform Mexico. We are a new generation. We will not return to the past. My government will have its eyes set on the future. Mexico has already changed.”
- “We will build the results-driven democracy that Mexicans deserve, starting with an effective, honest, transparent and accountable government. A government that fights corruption head-on. A democratic government is a government that strictly observes and ensures the rule of law.”
- “The fight against crime will continue. Yes, with a new strategy to reduce violence and protect, above all, the lives of Mexicans. In the face of organized crime, there will be neither negotiation nor truce.”
- “We need to promote a renewed free-market economy, but one with a social purpose. An economy that creates more jobs and better distributes wealth, to combat the poverty and inequality that still today affect millions of Mexican families.”
Peña Nieto has been particularly outspoken about his priorities for economic growth, job creation and poverty alleviation across Mexico. He has promised to return much needed attention to social issues gone largely unaddressed in recent years, including a commitment to dramatically increasing high school completion rates and generating more than a million jobs a year through greater economic competition and investments in infrastructure.
In addition, he has pledged to continue the fight against organized crime and drug trafficking that have riddled Mexico in recent years. To ensure his success, Peña Nieto has tapped recently retired Colombian Police Chief, General Oscar Naranjo, to serve as an advisor on an assertive array of crime-fighting measures. General Naranjo, decorated as one of the “world’s leading crime fighters” by law enforcement agencies around the globe, will be a valuable resource in advising how to strengthen our enforcement and improve cooperation with other countries.
Moreover, Peña Nieto has vowed to regain Mexico’s foreign policy leadership in Latin American and to continue to foster strong ties with its North American neighbors, the United States and Canada. This includes growing NAFTA beyond a trade zone and integrating economies through greater investments in manufacturing and finance. He has also affirmed his intention to pursue more economic opportunities and integration with Asia and the European Union so as to diversity Mexico’s economy.
Peña Nieto’s election by such a significant margin represents a generational shift and clear departure from the old notions of the PRI. He has surrounded himself with a cadre of young technocrats who have brought a wealth of innovative ideas, a forward-looking vision, and a new direction. Even prominent political leaders like former President Vicente Fox – a member of an opposing party – have advocated that the country support Peña Nieto.