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Opinion | Mexico: the rise of a pragmatic left

The first of December next there will be a change of political administration in Mexico, which promises to bring a number of profound impact at the national lev

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Opinion | Mexico: the rise of a pragmatic left

The first of December next there will be a change of political administration in Mexico, which promises to bring a number of profound impact at the national level and with very significant consequence for the world hispanoamericano. The inauguration of the impending new government headed by Andrés Manuel López Obrador promises to become the culmination of a lengthy and bumpy process of democratic transition. The end of the long reign of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which lasted for nearly ninety years, is not a historical event less but a true watershed in the history of this fascinating and complex country.

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The doubts and questions about the future arise, as is natural in an era of predictable transformations of social, political and economic. There is concern among many business circles due to the performance of the fifteenth economy in the world and second in Latin America. However, a good number of items allow you to surmise a future of greater stability, growth and honesty in the public administration of the republic of mexico. To begin with, the great strength of the election victory of López Obrador and his new party, the Movement of Regeneration Nacional (Morena), ensure that the new administration and especially the legislatures to carry out their tasks in an effective manner. The new president has obtained more than 53% of the popular vote and his party is the majority in the Congress of the Union, the local government of the capital, as well as in nineteen other state legislatures. The popular support that allowed for this surprising result is a reflection of a clear consensus among the great majority of the mexican people of the need for a profound renewal of political, social and ethical in public management.

In many ways, what happens in Mexico today has resonance with important aspects of the Spanish transition that took place after the end of the franco dictatorship. In particular, it seems to me that it is significant to the pragmatism of most of the new figures ascending in mexican politics. And I am not referring only to the ability of agreements it has forged the president-elect with churches, army, navy, and with business groups, but the profile of the personalities that have been announced as future managers of offices of the government. It is, in many senses, a “republic of teachers and professionals”, which recalls the early cabinets of the administration of Felipe González.

In the secretariats of hacienda and economy, highlighted by a series of economists, academics, who already have a administrative experience remarkable. The new secretary of the Treasury, Carlos Urzúa, is a mathematician and phd in economics from the University of Wisconsin. The under secretaries of expenses and income, respectively, are Gerardo Esquivel and Arturo Herrera, the first with a doctorate from Harvard, and the second from New York University, both with extensive experience as international consultants and ties of long standing with the World Bank. The next secretary of Economy, dr. Graciela Marquez, is a doctorate awarded by the University of Harvard, and prominent economist and historian. The person in charge of the international economic negotiations of the new administration is Jesus Seade, a graduate in economics from El Colegio de Mexico, and Oxford, who has decades of experience in international negotiations in the OECD and other multilateral bodies, and has been vice-president of Lingnan University, in Hong Kong, an academic centre of first level, which is classified as within the 1% of best universities of Asia. Last July he accepted the invitation of López Obrador to join his team and has worked closely with the administration of the outgoing president, Enrique Peña Nieto, in the negotiation of the very complex and new commercial treaty between Mexico, the united States and Canada, dodging the numerous obstacles that has been put forward by the president, Donald Trump, until agreement is achieved unexpectedly favourable for the three partner countries.

The next secretary of the Treasury, and a good part of their team were responsible for the administration of the finances of the city of Mexico between 2000 and 2006, where they managed to improve the collection of remarkable way. Now they promise to work to achieve fiscal balance and handling more solvent of the debt that the outgoing administration. In turn, they promise to fulfill several of the goals set by Lopez Obrador to reduce corruption, to radically and progressively improve the distribution of income. They are advertised as measures that will reduce the very high salaries with which the PRI had been accustomed to reward the upper ranks of the government. The planned reforms are summarized in the new standard which will prevent any high office to charge more than the incoming president, whose salary has been set at 108,000 pesos a month, equivalent to around 4,700 euros per month. The savings are very considerable root of the reduction of wages and extensive benefits, as well as the reduction of a bureaucracy that is exaggerated, made up, in a large number of cases by officers who received fees as a reward politicians, is expected to facilitate the coverage of new social programs to be launched, which will include about two million of scholarships for young people in high schools and universities, as well as a number equivalent to young workers that they will have support in your stage of learning in companies. Hundreds of large companies have already confirmed its interest in collaborating in this new program with human and financial resources.

But it is not only in the field of the economy that the priority of pragmatism and efficiency. It is also noted the professionalism and cosmopolitan character of the new government in the profile of the future leaders of the foreign relations. The future chancellor, Marcelo Ebrard, has a remarkable administrative experience, having been assistant secretary of this branch, a member of parliament, head of government of Mexico city from 2006 until 2012 and, subsequently, president of the Global Network on Safer Cities the United Nations from 2012 to 2014. Among other distinguished professionals, we will accompany you - as a future ambassador of Mexico before the United Nations - Dr. Juan Ramon de la Fuente, who has twice been the rector of the National University of Mexico, director of the Board of Directors of the UN Program against Aids in Paris and of the International Association of Universities at UNESCO. With the new diplomatic team, the mexican government will have the opportunity to regain the prestige they held in the international fora for several decades.

at The same time, it should be stressed that the new administration has announced thatand places gender equity as one of its main priorities, which complements the goals of reduction of poverty, discrimination and corruption. The new secretary of the Interior, Olga Sánchez Cordero, served as minister of the Supreme Court of Justice for more than a decade, and is the author of several books and account with the reputation of a woman committed to ongoing investigations to combat corruption. Another example of the new rulers is Claudia Scheinbaum, the head of the elected government of the city of Mexico, a phd in energy engineering, and former head of the secretariat of environment of the metropolis between 2000 and 2006. She has appointed a new team of professionals, balanced by gender - one that promises to renew the huge city and capital of a country with a long legacy and history that are in a frank process of transition-political, which we hope may meet with, at least, some of the many expectations of more than 120 million mexicans.

Carlos Marichal is a historian of The College of Mexico.

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