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Enrique Pena Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) was elected as Mexico’s new president on July 1, 2012. The nation is just one of at least 26 that will experience some kind of leadership changes this year.
Polls indicate Mr. Pena Nieto held an estimated lead of about seven points over the strongest opponent, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
The PRI’s win has revived fears that it could achieve another decades-long grip on political power.
“Pena Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party…ran Mexico for 71 unbroken years of autocratic rule that ended in 2000, and it was accused of systemic corruption that included payoffs from drug lords in exchange for protection,” The Associated Press stated.
In his acceptance address, published in Spanish by El Universal, Mr. Pena Nieto determined to clear up the past and assured his administration would be a “time to look forward.” He pledged to develop a nation where everyone can “write their personal success story” (as translated by The Real Truth).
One of the biggest challenges for the new leader will be controlling the drug war, which has caused approximately 50,000 deaths.
In addition, almost half of Mexico’s population is under the poverty level and many do not pay taxes. Analysts say new fiscal, employment and educational reforms are necessary to close the gap.
“Mexicans have given our party another chance,” Mr. Pena Nieto said in the Telegraph. “We are going to honour it with results.”