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Leaders of the two main political forces in Baja California sat across the table from each other on the Televisa Cortapisa news talk show that aired Sunday night in Tijuana to talk about why two four-party coalitions will be facing each other in the state's July 7 election.
In image taken from television, Tijuana PAN leader Enrique Méndez (left) shakes hands with state PRI leader René Mendívil (right) on Televisa's Cortapisa talk show that aired Sunday. Next to Méndez is PANAL councilwoman Najla Wehbe; next to Mendívil is TV host Karina Muñoz.
René Mendívil, leader of the Institutional Revolutionary Party in the state, was gracious to his political opponents while saying he was confident that the four-party coalition his party is leading will win the governor's race after a 24-year drought.
Asked by talk show host Karina Muñoz why the conservative National Action Party was partnering with the leftist Democratic Revolution Party, Tijuana PAN leader Enrique Méndez said the basic idea behind the coalition was a commitment to democracy. Both parties fear the overall power of the PRI, which retook the presidency last year after 12 years out of power and holds a majority of the nation's governors' posts. When pressed to explain how the PAN, which is anti-abortion, reconciles itself with the PRD's pro-choice and pro-gay-marriage stands, Méndez basically changed the subject, noting that when he was in the state legislature, he had received support from one of the PRI's current coalition partners, the Social Encounter Party, for a law that declares that life begins at conception.
Najla Wehbe, a councilwoman for the teachers union-allied New Alliance Party that is part of the PAN's four-party coalition, said that as part of the partnership, the PANAL will choose the coalition's mayoral candidate for Rosarito Beach and also will choose three candidates for the 25-member state legislature. The program mispelled her name as Nashla.
Mendívil said the PRI will be partnering with the Green Party, the Social Encounter Party and the Workers Party in an attempt to broaden the PRI's support. He did not mention, nor was he asked about, the apparent anointing PRI gubernatorial hopeful Fernando Castro Trenti received last week from on high. Mendívil acted as if Tijuana Mayor Carlos Bustamante, Mexicali Mayor Francisco Pérez Tejada and Ensenada Mayor Enrique Pelayo were still viable candidates for the governor's post, when all three dropped out of the race after Castro Trenti became the PRI's apparent candidate. Mendívil also mentioned former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon as an aspirant for the PRI's gubernatorial nomination. Hank has not conceded in the race.
Mendívil also did not mention how he has hopes of becoming the PRI's candidate for mayor of Tijuana. Some think Hank might wind up having a big say in who becomes mayor; Mendívil has been associated with Castro Trenti.
Méndez said the PAN will likely be nominating either former Tijuana Mayor Francisco Vega or former Tijuana Mayor Héctor Osuna Jaime as the coalition's candidate to succeed Gov. José Guadalupe Osuna Millán, also a former PAN mayor of Tijuana.
Update, Feb. 16: The Citizens Movement also apparently will be fielding its own candidate (it turned out to be lifelong PRIista Felipe Ruanova). This is interesting in the sense that the three parties that backed presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador (who now is forming his own party, Morena) are apparently going to be backing three separate candidates for governor. The PRD is aligned with the PAN and the Workers Party is aligned with the PRI. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Baja California Sen. Marco Antonio Blásquez ran on the ticket of the Citizens Movement last year, but then switched to the Workers Party group in the Senate after winning.
Update, July 8, 2013: Vega, who won the PAN nomination, won the gubernatorial election.
The word cortapisa has many meanings, one of which is obligation.