The presidential elections in Mexico on 2 July are taking place amid turmoil. There are bitter strikes taking place by miners and teachers, which have met with repression. An independent union front, the National Front for Unity and Union Autonomy (FNUAS) has called a general strike for 28 June, that could continue over the election day.
The situation is crying out for working class political representation, but there is no workers’ candidate. The race is neck and neck between Felipe Calderón of the conservative National Action Party (PAN) and Andrés Manuel López Obrador of the liberal nationalist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD). The old ruling PRI candidate is off the pace, and there are two other small parties.
The best of the left, including the Zapatistas and some Marxists are arguing for abstention. They point out that López Obrador has befriended Carlos Slim, Mexico’s richest man, and works closely with Manuel Camacho Solis, a politician associated with former president Carlos Salinas of the PRI. Nor has he challenged the “official unions” or supported attempts to democratise the labour movement in Mexico City.
The best background article that explains what’s going on is by Dan La Botz, who runs the Mexico Labor News and Analysis website.