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1994 Mexican general election

General elections were held in Mexico on 21 August 1994.[1] The presidential elections resulted in a victory for Ernesto Zedillo of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), whilst the PRI won 300 of the 500 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 95 of the 128 seats in the Senate. Voter turnout ranged from 77.4% in the proportional representation section of the Chamber elections to 75.9% in the constituency section.

1994 Mexican general election

← 1988 21 August 1994 2000 →
  Carlos Menem recibe a Ernesto Zedillo 06 (cropped).jpg Diego Fernandez de Cevallos.jpg Cuauhtemoc Cardenas Solorzano.jpg
Nominee Ernesto Zedillo Diego Fernández de Cevallos Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas
Party PRI PAN PRD
Home state Mexico City Mexico City Mexico City
Popular vote 17,181,651 9,146,841 5,852,134
Percentage 48.7% 25.9% 16.6%

PRIstateswoninmexico.png
States won by Ernesto Zedillo are colored green

President before election

Carlos Salinas de Gortari
PRI

Elected President

Ernesto Zedillo
PRI

To date, the 1994 elections mark the last time a presidential candidate won in 31 all states and Mexico City.

BackgroundEdit

The 1994 election took place in an atmosphere of political instability after the rise of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) on 1 January that year. The insurgency was a serious hit on the image that the Government wanted to portray of a developed, advanced country, and it highlighted the negative effects of the neoliberal reforms enacted by the Salinas administration.

In the past six years, the right-wing opposition Partido Acción Nacional (PAN) had won many state elections, and was seen as a serious contender for the presidency in 1994. On the other hand, the left-wing Partido de la Revolucion Democratica (PRD), while building a wide social base, had failed to win any state governorship, which its leaders blamed on repression and electoral fraud by the PRI-controlled federal government.

CampaignEdit

 
Luis Donaldo Colosio was the original PRI presidential candidate before his assassination on 23 March.

Outgoing President Carlos Salinas de Gortari chose his Secretary of Social Development, Luis Donaldo Colosio, to be the PRI presidential candidate. Salinas' choice sparked a brief internal conflict in the government, as Manuel Camacho Solís, who was then Mayor of Mexico City, had expected himself to be the PRI candidate, and quit his position in protest. President Salinas immediately appointed Camacho as Minister of Foreign Relations to hide the conflict, and tried to appease him. In the aftermath of the Zapatista uprising, Camacho was designated Peace Commissioner in Chiapas.

The PAN chose Diego Fernández de Cevallos as their candidate through an internal convention. Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas ran for the presidency once again, this time as the candidate of the PRD, the party he founded in 1989. Other six parties presented their own candidates.

In the initial months of the campaign, PRI candidate Colosio expressed dissatisfaction with his campaign management, as polls indicated that his percentage of supporters was far less than that obtained by previous PRI candidates. His campaign languished with lack of funding, and Colosio had problems getting media coverage, given the high-profile events in Chiapas. Due to his alleged poor performance, the PRI leadership considered replacing him as the presidential candidate, and rumours began that Camacho would replace him, as Camacho's own popularity had increased due to his role as mediator in the Zapatista conflict. At one point, President Salinas had to state to the media "Don't get confused, Colosio is the candidate".

Due to his campaign's underperformance, Colosio tried to distance himself from the outgoing President. On March 6, 1994, the anniversary of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (the PRI), Colosio delivered a controversial but popular speech in the nation's capital, in front of the Monument to the Mexican Revolution. In it, he spoke of indigenous communities, government abuse, and the people's independence from government, all hot button issues at a time when the Zapatistas were making similar statements.[2] The speech is widely considered the moment when Colosio broke with then president, Carlos Salinas de Gortari.

On 22 March, Camacho himself stated that he was not interested in being the PRI candidate, instead focusing on the Chiapas conflict. The day after Camacho's statement, Colosio was killed.

Assassination of Luis Donaldo ColosioEdit

At 5:05 PM PST, on 23 March 1994, at a campaign rally in Lomas Taurinas, a poor neighborhood of Tijuana, Baja California, Colosio was shot in the head with a .38 Special at a distance of a few centimeters from a nearby person recording a video. Colosio collapsed, and was subsequently rushed to the city's main hospital, after plans to fly him to an American hospital across the border were canceled. His death was announced a few hours later, amid contradicting eyewitness reports that remain to this day.

The shooter, Mario Aburto Martínez, was arrested at the site and never wavered from his story that he had acted alone. Nonetheless, many theories still surround Colosio's assassination. The authorities were criticized for their poor handling of Aburto, having shaved, bathed and given him a prison haircut before showing him to the media, which started rumors about whether that man, who looked so different from the one arrested, was really the murderer. Colosio received three bullet wounds, and it was never clear if they could have been done by a single person or not. The case was officially closed after many different prosecutors investigated it, but after the many mishandlings of the investigation and contradictory versions, the controversy continues. Aburto remains imprisoned at the high-security La Palma facility in Almoloya de Juárez.

The assassination had a profound impact on the Mexican public opinion, already tumultuous by the conflict in Chiapas. The assassination of Colosio was the first magnicide to occur in Mexico since the murder of Álvaro Obregón in 1928.

There are a number of conspiracy theories about the assassination, including that it was by narcotraffickers.[3] However, the most accepted theory among the Mexican people is that he was betrayed by his own party and that the murder was orchestrated by high members of Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) including the president Carlos Salinas de Gortari as Colosio's speech was flouncing away from Salinas's political agenda to maintain influence during further Mexican Administrations.

Selection of the new PRI candidateEdit

President Salinas declared three days of national mourning after Colosio's death, while all the opposition candidates lamented the assassination and called for an end to political violence.

In the aftermath, many PRI members sought to replace the dead candidate. In the end, President Salinas chose Ernesto Zedillo, who had been Colosio's campaign manager, as the new PRI presidential candidate. Zedillo had been Secretary of Education, a relatively unimportant ministry; he had resigned to run the campaign of Colosio. Zedillo had never held elective office, sharing that trait with De la Madrid and Salinas, but Zedillo was not otherwise experienced politically. He was perceived as a weak candidate. There were speculation that Salinas wished to perpetuate his power as Plutarco Elías Calles had in the wake of the 1928 assassination of president-elect Alvaro Obregón, controlling successor presidents.[4]

Televised debatesEdit

For the first time in Mexican history, the 1994 campaign featured televised debates between the Presidential candidates. On 12 May, the three main contenders Zedillo, Fernández de Cevallos and Cárdenas participated in the first Presidential debate in Mexican history. An estimated audience of 34 million watched the debate. Polls after the debate indicated that the PAN candidate, Diego Fernández de Cevallos, had defeated the other two candidates, and had become capable of defeating the PRI candidate in the elections.[5] However, in the aftermath of the debate Fernández de Cevallos seemed to decrease his media presence, and Zedillo continued in the first place at the polls; on the other hand, the polls also indicated that Zedillo might win with less than 50% of the popular vote, something unprecedented for a PRI candidate (notwithstanding previous controversial elections in which the PRI was accused of fraud).

After the 12 May debate between the main three contenders, there was also a debate between the Presidential candidates of smaller parties.

Opinion polls (1994)Edit

Poll source Date PRI PAN PRD Others Undecided Sample
size
(Thousands)
Ref.
GEO/ETC 24 January 49% 8% 13% 2% 28% 1.1 [6]
GEO/ETC 20 March 49% 10% 12% 5% 24% 1.1
23 March - Assassination of Luis Donaldo Colosio
GEO/ETC 10 April 46% 10% 12% 7% 26% 1.1
12 May - First presidential debate in Mexican history
V. Voto 17 May 48% 26% 9% 4% 13% 1.5
GEO/ETC 22 May 39% 26% 12% 6% 18% 1.1
Reforma 6 June 41% 29% 9% 3% 18% 2.2
V. Voto 18 June 41% 21% 8% 2% 28% 1.5
CNA/EPI 19 June 52% 29% 8% 3% 8% 1.5
GEO/ETC 19 June 44% 24% 11% 8% 13% 1.1
CNIRT 7 July 43% 22% 10% 4% 21% 2.5
GEO/ETC 19 July 47% 17% 11% 8% 17% 1.1
V. Voto 28 July 47% 17% 8% 3% 25% 1.5
Reforma 29 July 47% 17% 9% 2% 25% 2.0
El País 1 August 40% 21% 11% 6% 22% 1.5
Belden 3 August 46% 19% 9% 8% 18% 1.5
CNIRT 7 August 44% 19% 11% 4% 22% 2.5
GEO/ETC 7 August 42% 24% 11% 5% 19% 1.1

Presidential electionEdit

Although tension did not reach the level it did around the 1988 election, most political analysts agree that voters opted for continuity by allowing the PRI to remain in power, fearing that the country might otherwise be destabilized.

ResultsEdit

Candidate Party Votes %
Ernesto Zedillo Institutional Revolutionary Party 17,181,651 48.69
Diego Fernández de Cevallos National Action Party 9,146,841 25.92
Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Solórzano Party of the Democratic Revolution 5,852,134 16.59
Cecilia Soto González Labor Party 970,121 2.75
Jorge González Torres Ecologist Green Party of Mexico 327,313 0.93
Rafael Aguilar Talamantes Party of the Cardenist Front of National Reconstruction 297,901 0.84
Álvaro Pérez Treviño Authentic Party of the Mexican Revolution 192,795 0.55
Marcela Lombardo Otero Popular Socialist Party 166,594 0.47
Pablo Emilio Madero Mexican Democratic Party 97,935 0.28
Write in 43,715 0.12
Invalid/blank votes 1,008,291 2.86
Total 35,285,291 100
Registered voters/turnout 45,729,053 77.2
Source: Instituto Federal Electoral

Results by stateEdit

Based on the official results of the Federal Electoral Institute

State Zedillo Cevallos Cárdenas Soto González Aguilar Pérez Lombardo Madero Write-in None
Aguascalientes 157,736 124,484 29,236 6,518 3,794 6,610 1,320 1,271 1,048 136 7,463
Baja California 402,332 297,565 68,669 15,953 7,853 3,399 2,044 3,088 1,310 1,882 18,393
Baja California Sur 80,097 46,907 9,463 3,905 786 564 386 324 242 35 2,580
Campeche 123,225 41,910 47,640 2,935 720 1,139 3,241 1,051 384 433 6,328
Chiapas 493,135 126,266 347,981 19,381 4,274 17,404 7,255 6,183 1,348 3,495 63,987
Chihuahua 660,874 308,590 68,251 39,901 5,102 3,615 2,702 3,300 1,424 640 28,751
Coahuila 359,168 226,621 97,121 17,954 3,157 14,760 5,088 2,355 816 420 15,582
Colima 102,903 60,338 24,157 2,882 1,316 3,448 424 627 1,247 548 5,354
Distrito Federal 1,873,059 1,172,438 902,199 185,903 91,839 37,370 15,402 19,084 12,246 7,157 98,706
Durango 266,837 141,818 49,793 43,351 2,466 2,712 1,950 2,181 545 602 13,833
Guanajuato 945,088 513,865 149,268 32,763 10,906 13,838 10,031 6,691 14,685 2,873 57,808
Guerrero 385,590 74,198 266,818 9,168 2,951 13,485 7,037 4,300 2,634 1,057 25,973
Hidalgo 450,800 134,171 115,693 14,988 4,992 8,668 7,253 3,442 1,107 794 29,754
Jalisco 1,050,815 1,008,234 166,226 47,854 20,023 17,464 11,566 9,528 11,289 3,181 59,081
México 2,143,122 1,179,422 835,135 150,186 82,171 45,385 22,075 26,053 14,193 4,481 114,214
Michoacán 612,040 212,921 493,236 17,729 7,606 8,542 8,584 4,293 6,160 1,130 36,124
Morelos 282,821 128,942 109,560 14,399 6,509 5,845 3,249 2,073 1,305 1,075 14,063
Nayarit 179,411 59,925 50,717 8,862 1,243 1,758 1,661 2,394 310 775 9,031
Nuevo León 723,629 596,820 44,413 89,387 5,860 2,917 2,874 2,409 2,144 2,193 31,091
Oaxaca 509,776 131,225 276,758 17,221 5,044 9,665 12,803 10,816 1,445 891 44,163
Puebla 787,493 399,942 216,200 37,141 13,263 11,750 10,850 9,493 2,885 1,196 61,865
Querétaro 275,788 149,540 26,969 11,077 2,937 3,122 1,572 2,127 1,554 231 14,419
Quintana Roo 112,546 62,006 26,301 2,665 1,304 1,550 902 1,026 174 80 5,522
San Luis Potosí 440,601 196,351 73,523 19,705 4,546 2,980 3,701 2,537 3,192 996 26,783
Sinaloa 474,882 285,207 129,025 12,059 3,982 2,973 4,383 4,098 580 835 20,680
Sonora 361,835 330,272 111,978 33,118 2,778 2,698 1,646 1,741 961 1,066 17,745
Tabasco 335,851 44,763 196,100 5,832 1,583 3,158 1,645 1,563 399 293 22,427
Tamaulipas 481,595 275,989 192,900 23,916 5,155 5,307 20,502 3,301 1,604 1,357 30,058
Tlaxcala 186,126 84,582 54,029 7,799 2,862 2,120 1,819 2,138 1,887 114 9,681
Veracruz 1,360,540 419,109 612,354 50,492 16,342 40,825 16,127 23,508 7,810 3,115 93,331
Yucatán 251,699 195,986 15,009 3,583 2,102 1,127 799 867 330 84 10,429
Zacatecas 310,237 116,434 45,412 21,494 1,847 1,703 1,904 2,732 677 550 13,072
Total 17,181,651 9,146,841 5,852,134 970,121 327,313 297,901 192,795 166,594 97,935 43,715 1,008,291

Congress electionsEdit

SenateEdit

Party Votes % Seats +/-
Institutional Revolutionary Party 17,195,536 50.2 95 +34
National Action Party 8,805,038 25.7 25 +24
Party of the Democratic Revolution 5,579,949 16.8 8 +6
Labor Party 977,072 2.9 0 0
Party of the Cardenist Front of National Reconstruction 400,019 1.2 0 0
Ecologist Green Party of Mexico 438,941 1.3 0 0
Authentic Party of the Mexican Revolution 269,735 0.8 0 0
Popular Socialist Party 215,673 0.6 0 0
Mexican Democratic Party 120,419 0.4 0 0
Independents 42,251 0.1 0
Invalid/blank votes 1,078,198
Total 35,302,831 100 128 +64
Registered voters/turnout 45,729,053 77.2
Source: Nohlen

Chamber of DeputiesEdit

Party Constituency PR Seats +/-
Votes % Votes %
Institutional Revolutionary Party 16,851,082 50.2 17,236,836 50.3 300 -20
National Action Party 8,664,834 25.8 8,833,468 25.8 119 +30
Party of the Democratic Revolution 5,590,391 16.7 5,728,733 16.7 71 +30
Labor Party 896,426 2.7 909,251 2.7 10 +10
Ecologist Green Party of Mexico 470,951 1.4 479,594 1.4 0 0
Party of the Cardenist Front of National Reconstruction 379,960 1.1 390,402 1.1 0 -23
Authentic Party of the Mexican Revolution 285,526 0.9 290,489 0.9 0 -15
Popular Socialist Party 231,162 0.7 239,371 0.7 0 -12
Mexican Democratic Party 148,279 0.4 151,100 0.4 0 0
Independents 47,749 0.1 21,059 0.1 0
Invalid/blank votes 1,121,006 1,126,381
Total 34,686,916 100 35,406,684 100 500 0
Registered voters/turnout 45,729,053 75.9 45,729,053 77.4
Source: Nohlen

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Nohlen, D (2005) Elections in the Americas: A data handbook, Volume I, p453 ISBN 978-0-19-928357-6
  2. ^ Discurso de Luis Donaldo Colosio, durante el acto conmemorativo del LXV Aniversario del PRI en el Monumento a la Revolución. Marzo 6, 1994
  3. ^ Patenostro, Silvana. "Mexico as a Narco-democracy." World Policy Journal 12.1 (1995): 41-47.
  4. ^ Thomas Legler, "Ernesto Zedillo" in Encyclopedia of Mexico. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn 1997, p. 1641
  5. ^ Heverg. "Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, Ernesto Zedillo y Diego Fernández de Cevallos, protagonizaron el primer debate entre candidatos presidenciales en México hace 20 años". Plumas Atómicas. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  6. ^ Kuschik, Murilo (April 2002). México: elecciones y el uso de las encuestas preelectorales. Revista Mexicana de Ciencias Políticas y Sociales. p. 116. Retrieved 2 September 2019.