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The National Action Party ( ), is a center-right, Christian democratic party and one of the three main political parties in Mexico. Since 2000, the President of Mexico has been a member of this party; both houses have PAN pluralities, but the party does not have a majority in either the house of the Congress. In the 2006 legislative elections the party won 207 out of 500 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 52 out of 128 Senators.

History

20th century

Mexicanmarker Roman Catholics, together with other conservatives (mainly Manuel Gómez Morín), founded the PAN on September 17, 1939 after the cristero insurgency lost the Cristero War. They were looking for a peaceful way to bring about change in the country and to achieve political representation, after the years of chaos and violence that followed the Mexican Revolution. The turning point in the Cristero War was when the Roman Catholic Church reached an agreement with the National Revolutionary Party – the forerunner of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) that dominated power for most of the 20th century – whereunder it turned a blind eye to the lack of democracy in the country and stopped supporting the Catholic rebels, threatening its members with excommunication if they disobeyed the government.

In 1946, PAN members Miguel Ramírez Munguía (Tacámbaro, Michoacánmarker), Juan Gutiérrez Lascurain (Federal District), Antonio L. Rodríguez (Nuevo Leónmarker) and Aquiles Elorduy García (Aguascalientesmarker) become the first four federal deputies from the opposition in post-Revolutionary Mexico. The following year Manuel Torres Serranía, from Quiroga, Michoacánmarker, becomes the party's first municipal president and Dr. Alfonso Hernández Sánchez (from Zamoramarker, Michoacánmarker) its first state deputy.

In 1962 Rosario Alcalá (Aguascalientes) became the first female candidate for state governor and two years later Florentina Villalobos Chaparro (Parral, Chihuahuamarker), became the first female federal deputy. In 1967 Norma Villarreal de Zambrano (San Pedro Garza Garcíamarker, Nuevo Leónmarker) became the first female municipal president. In 1988 the newly created Assembly of Representatives of the Federal District had, for the first time, members of the PAN. In 1989 Ernesto Ruffo Appel (Baja California) became the first opposition governor. Two years later, his future successor in the Baja California government, Héctor Terán Terán, became the first federal senator from the PAN. From 1992 to 2000 PAN candidates won the elections for governorships in Guanajuatomarker, Chihuahuamarker, Jaliscomarker, Querétaromarker, Nuevo Leónmarker, Aguascalientesmarker, Yucatánmarker and Morelosmarker.

21st century

[[Image:State governments by party.svg|thumb|left|
State governments by party (as of 2005-2006)]]


In the 2000 presidential elections, the candidate of the Alianza por el cambio ("Alliance for change"), formed by the PAN and the Ecologist Green Party of Mexico (PVEM), Vicente Fox Quesada won 42.5% of the popular vote and was elected president of Mexico. In the senate elections of the same date, the Alliance won 46 out of 128 seats in the Senate. The Alliance broke off the following year and the PVEM has since participated together with the PRI in most elections.

In the 2003 mid-term elections, the party won 30.74% of the popular vote and 153 out of 500 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.

In 2003, the PAN lost the governorship of Nuevo Leónmarker to the PRI and, the following year, failed to win back the state of Chihuahuamarker from the PRI. Coupled with a bitterly fought election in Colimamarker that was cancelled and later re-run, these developments were interpreted by some political analysts to be a significant rejection of the PAN in advance of the 2006 presidential election. In contrast, 2004 did see the PAN win for the first time in Tlaxcalamarker, in a state that would not normally be considered PAN territory, although its candidate was a member of the PRI until a few months before the elections. It also managed to hold on to Querétaromarker (by a mere 3% margin against the PRI) and Aguascalientesmarker (although in 2007, it lost most of the municipalities and the local Congress to the PRI). However, in 2005 the PAN lost the elections for the state government of Mexico Statemarker and Nayaritmarker to the PRI. The former was considered one of the most important elections in the country because of the number of voters involved, which is higher than the elections for head of government of the Federal District. (See: 2003 Mexican elections, 2004 Mexican elections and 2005 Mexican elections for results.)

For the presidential election in 2006, Felipe Calderón, a former party president, was selected as the PAN's candidate, after beating his opponents Santiago Creel (Secretary of the Interior during Fox's term) and Alberto Cárdenas (former governor of Jalisco) in every voting round in the party primaries. On July 2, 2006, Felipe Calderón secured a plurality of the votes cast. Finishing less than one percent behind was Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who unsuccessfully challenged the results of the election. In addition to the presidency, the PAN won 206 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 52 in the Senate, securing it the largest single party blocs in both houses.

In 2007, the PAN lost the governorship and the majority in the state congress of Yucatán to the PRI as well as the municipal presidency of Aguascalientesmarker, but kept both the governorship and the majority in the state congress of Baja Californiamarker. The PRI also obtained more municipal presidents and local congresspeople in Chihuahua, Durango, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, Chiapas and Oaxaca. The PRD obtained more posts than the PAN in Zacatecas, Chiapas and Oaxaca.

Ideology

The PAN has been linked to a conservative stance in Mexican politics since its inception, but the party does not consider itself a fundamentally conservative party. The party ideology, at least in principle, is that of "National Action" which rejects a fundamental adherence to left- or right-wing politics or policies, instead requiring the adoption of such policies as correspond to the problems faced by the nation at any given moment. Thus both right and left wing policies may be considered equally carefully in formulation of national policy. (This is a similar theoretical basis as both Gaullism and Peronism, although the similarity is weakened in the late authoritarian stance of Perón.)

This theory of National Action politics, rejecting a fundamental adherence to right or left, is held within a strongly Christian context, and falls under the umbrella of Christian Democracy.

The party theory was largely developed by early figures such as Gómez Morín and his associates.

However, some observers consider the PAN claim to National Action politics to be weakened by the apparent persistent predominance of conservatism in PAN policy in practice.

Economic policies

The PAN currently occupies the right of Mexico's political spectrum, advocating free enterprise, privatization, smaller government, and liberal reforms as well as opposition to same-sex unions and abortion. Its philosophy has similarities with Europe's Christian Democratic parties. The PAN is a member of the Christian Democrat Organization of America (CDOA). The PAN officially claims to be a non-confessional party in a country that is almost 90% Christian; however, while on the campaign trail in 2000, Vicente Fox appeared holding a banner emblazoned with the revered icon of the Virgin of Guadalupemarker – and was fined MXN $20,000 for mixing religion and politics. As president, he continued to make public appearances attending mass as well as proclaiming his faith (even kissing Pope John Paul II's ring upon his arrival in Mexico in 2002) and at times ending his speeches with a "God bless you", enraging several sectors of Mexican society for mixing politics and religion.

In general, PAN claims to support free enterprise and thus trade agreements. The opposition criticizes the PAN's support of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Some intellectuals denounce NAFTA as unfair trade, rather than "free trade".

Social policies

Abortion

Carlos Abascal, secretary of the interior in the latter part of the Fox administration, called emergency contraception a "weapon of mass destruction" in July 2005. It was during Fox's term, however, that the "morning-after" pill was legalized, even though the Church had condemned the use of "abortion pills".

The PAN produced a television spot against state-financed abortion, one that features popular comedian Chespirito (who was also featured on a TV spot promoting Vicente Fox in the 2000 presidential elections) and a second one that accuses the PRI and PRD of wanting to kill the unborn. After the abortion bill, which made abortion available, anonymous, and free or government-paid, was approved at the local legislature, the PAN requested the Human Rights Commission of the Federal District (CHDDF) to enact actions on the unconstitutionality of the measure, the CHDDF rejected the request as it found no basis of unconstitutionality. After unsuccessfully appealing to unconstitutionality, the PAN declared that it may request the remotion of Emilio Álvarez Icaza, the president of the Human Rights Commission of the Federal District, for his lack of "moral quality". The PAN, with the members of the Association of Catholic Lawyers, gathered signatures and turned them in to the Federal District Electoral Institute (IEDF) to void the abortion bill and force a referendum, which was also rejected by the IEDF. In May 2007, the PAN started a campaign to encourage rejections to perform abortion amongst doctors in the Federal District based on conscience.

There is no official position statement of the PAN on private abortion. Its opposition to abortion has been only on state-financed cases of the practice.

In some cases, PAN mayors and governors have banned public employees from wearing miniskirts (Guadalajaramarker), clamped down on the use of profanity in public marketplaces (Santiago de Querétaromarker), and the last and most polemical had to be with the mayor of Guanajuatomarker City, who tried to prevent couples from kissing on the streets. Although this did not pass.

Recognition of same-sex unions in Mexico

The PAN has unsuccessfully opposed measures to establish civil unions in Mexico City and Coahuila.

On November 9 2006 the government of the Federal District approved the first law establishing civil unions in Mexico. The members of the PAN, and a member of New Alliance were the only legislators that voted against it.

The same year, the local legislature of Coahuilamarker approved the law of civil unions to which the PAN also opposed. The PAN also lodged an unconstitutionality plea before the Supreme Court of Justice of the State of Coahuila, alleging that the constitution has vowed to protect the institution of the family.

Guillermo Bustamente Manilla, member of the PAN and president of the National Parents Union (UNPF) is also the father of Guillermo Bustamante Artasánchez, law director of the Secretary of the Interior, Carlos Abascal, during Fox's presidency and currently working in the Calderón administration opposes abortion and same-sex civil unions,"proceso-unpf"> Proceso, Calderón, cómplice del clero, April 23, 2007. and has called the latter as "anti-natural". He has publicly asked voters not to cast votes for "abortionist" parties and those who are in favor of homosexual relationships."aciprensa-unpf"> ACI Prensa, Padres de familia mexicanos piden no votar por partidos abortistas, April 30, 2007.

Party Presidents



1.- Resigned to run for president

Recent politic scandals

After the mid term government period of the first PAN party presidential candidate (Vicente Fox, 2004) many deputies and senators from PAN party has been accused of corruption and erroneous policies that directly affects the Mexican people, including:

- FOBAPROA scandal - In which several commercial banks (Banamex, Bancomer, Scottia Bank, Santander, etc.) with a lot of accounts receivable written-off refused to absorb the common financial risks and the debts carried out for normal financial market operations, but instead they put this into a special government fund that forced Mexico government and people to pay for this unpayable accounts. Many of this illegal procedures were carried out with the consent and sponsorship of several PAN deputies and PAN government employees.

- PEMEX illegal outsourcing contracts - In which several contracts were illegally given to several companies owned by the sons of the Mexico President's, spouse Martha Sahagún. These Illegal contracts were also given with the consent and sponsorship of several PAN deputies and PAN government employees. Recently (2008) the new minister of Government, Juan Camili Mouriño, has been under investigation because the contracts that had been signed between his family businesses, IVANCAR and PEMEX, in the period he was advisor of the former Ministry of energy—today the Republic's president, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa.

- Campaign for the 2006 Mexico Presidency - During the campaign for the 2006 Mexico Presidency, the PAN spent a tremendous amount of money to discredit its opponents,. namely the left-leaning Andrés Manuel López Obrador of the PRD. Although direct links have been difficult to establish, the PAN has also recently been accused of forcing Zhenli Ye Gon, a known trafficker of pseudoephedrine, to launder campaign funds so that the party would not be forced to report them to the national electoral institute. .

Currently (2008) there have been a lot of problems with the President's Energetic Reform because it is designed to privatize PEMEX and the CFE, although the PAN says it is just to 'strengthen them'.

Presidential candidates

Election Year Result Nominee
1952 lost Efraín González Luna
1958 lost Luis H. Álvarez
1964 lost José Luis González Torres
1970 lost Efraín González Morfín
1976 No Result No Candidate
1982 lost Pablo Emilio Madero
1988 lost Manuel J. Clouthier
1994 lost Diego Fernández de Cevallos
2000 won Vicente Fox Quesada
2006 won Felipe Calderón Hinojosa


References

  1. History of the PAN. PAN official website.
  2. Secretaría de Gobernación, July 19, 2005.
  3. Frontera, Difunde PAN spot Vs. aborto en Internet, April 26, 2007.
  4. Human Rights Commission of the Federal District, CDHDF NO EJERCERÁ ACCIÓN DE INCONSTITUCIONALIDAD, May 3, 2007.
  5. La Crónica, El PAN-DF, molesto porque Álvarez Icaza apoyó la despenalización, ahora pide la cabeza del ombudsman, May 5, 2007
  6. El Sol de México, Invalida IEDF solicitud de referendum sobre el aborto.
  7. La Jornada, Inicia PAN-DF campaña contra el aborto en hospitales, May 8, 2007.
  8. El Universal, Aprueban la Ley de Sociedades de Convivencia, November 9, 2007.
  9. El Diario de Coahuila, Júbilo en comunidad gay.
  10. Hispavista
  11. Noticias, Voz e Imágen de Oaxaca, March 16, 2007


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