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The National Action Party's Josefina Vázquez Mota, in Tuesday night's debate held by the student protest group #YoSoy132, suggested she would name Mexican-born Nobel Prize winning chemist Mario Molina for her Cabinet. Molina(right) now teaches at the University of California San Diego.
Absent from the debate, broadcast over the Internet, and not without a few glitches, was front-runner Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party. He did not attend in part because the student movement, which grew out of a protest of his appearance at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City last month, has been hostile to him.
Peña Nieto's seat was empty; indeed, Vázquez Mota was seated to the far left, followed by the empty chair, then the moderator, then the Democratic Revolution Party's Andrés Manuel López Obrador and then the New Alliance Party's Gabriel Quadri. It appeared that Peña Nieto might have fared all right under the format that was used. Six years ago, López Obrador shot himself in the foot by not participating in the first debate sponsored by the Federal Electoral Institute; this time, Mexicans might be more forgiving of Peña Nieto, as he has already appeared in both IFE debates and because of the hostility he has received from the student movement.
Although many of the questions, about monopolies and corruption, were up López Obrador's alley, Vázquez Mota and Quadri both took the opportunity to take the populist candidate to task on his opposition to modernizing Pemex. López Obrador said allowing private investment in Mexico's oil sector would just benefit the top 1% in Mexico, rather than the people of Mexico, the owners of Pemex.
Story on debate in Frontera (PDF).