Crisis in 3-party pact imperils Mexico reform

2013-04-24T00:00:00Z Crisis in 3-party pact imperils Mexico reformTim Johnson Mcclatchy Newspapers Arizona Daily Star
April 24, 2013 12:00 am  • 

MEXICO CITY - A vaunted three-party alliance that sustains President Enrique Peña Nieto's drive to enact major changes in Mexico is severely fraying, casting a shadow over pending overhauls in tax collection, finance and energy production.

On Tuesday, Peña Nieto's office abruptly postponed announcement of sweeping new financial measures because of the crisis in the alliance, known as the Pact for Mexico, which was forged in December and ties Peña Nieto's Institutional Revolutionary Party with two other parties, one from the political left and the other from the right.

The current crisis centers on whether Peña Nieto's PRI is using a federal hunger-fighting program to gain political advantage as 14 of Mexico's 31 states prepare for elections later this year.

The financial package that Peña Nieto was scheduled to announce is intended to ease credit for businesses and lower interest rates while increasing tax revenues to the federal government.

Instead, Peña Nieto deployed top aides to try to make peace with the National Action Party on the right and Party of the Democratic Revolution on the left.

Finance Minister Luis Videgaray denied that the postponement meant the end of the financial reform plans.

"The financial reform is not in danger," Videgaray told a local radio station. "What matters is that the president has sent a very clear message that the priority is to listen and take what is happening in all seriousness."

The three parties signed the Pact for Mexico on Dec. 2, agreeing in broad terms to seek 95 reforms during Peña Nieto's six-year term. The agreement was seen as a major alliance that could overcome entrenched interests, such as business monopolies and unions, which oppose some of the changes.

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