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Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011

Peña Nieto reveals more in interview

He repeats opposition to re-election; says he is against a second round of voting, favors a third TV network

enrique pena nietoIn an interview with Reforma newspaper, Institutional Revolutionary Party presidential hopeful Enrique Peña Nieto shed a little more light on his positions on the issues, of which he had previously revealed little.

He told Reforma that he was in favor of there being a third TV network in Mexico. He said he thought more competition would be good for the country.

He repeated his opposition to the re-election of legislators and municipality council members, saying it could give economic interests too much political power. He did say he was in favor of independent candidacies and referendums, with some caveats. He would like to see the number of at-large members of Congress reduced, with the idea of finding a way to giving a party with a large plurality the ability to form a majority so the country can get things done. He opposes having a second round in presidential elections if no candidate wins a majority.
PRI president also opposes re-election.

Peña Nieto said it would be better for the country for a well-prepared and armed police to battle organized crime, rather than have the military do so, although he gave no specifics on how to accomplish this. He said it would be better to use more intelligence in the battle against organized crime than brute force. He also said he is not convinced that legalizing drugs would resolve the organized crime issue. He said the Mexican state also cannot come to an accord, or cease-fire, with organized crime. "You cannot negotiate the law or justice," he said.

He said a universal value added tax could be considered as part of an overall overhaul of the tax code so that the government can get the funds it needs to operate. He said Mexico is a country "where we take in little public monies and spend them badly." He said the country needs more infrastructure and spending in the tourism and agriculture arenas. He said Mexico needs energy reforms, while at the same time saying that oil belongs to the nation. Mexico's state ownership of the petroleum sector has been highly inefficient.

He seemed to advocate the universal health system President Felipe Calderón has been promoting, which could supplant the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) and the ISSSTE health-care systems.

Peña Nieto said teachers union leader Elba Esther Gordillo's New Alliance Party was an important partner of his during his six-year term as governor of Mexico state. He said Gordillo is important both as a leader of the teachers and the New Alliance Party.

He said he would not confront soft-drink and snack makers in an effort to reduce Mexico's obesity problem, but rather would try to work with them to develop strategies to improve the nation's health. He noted that the companies are major sources of employment and revenue for the country.

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