A coalition of Mexico’s left-leaning political parties has chosen Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD) stalwart Andrés Manuel López Obrador to run against near-certain Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) candidate Enrique Peña Nieto in the race to replace current Mexican President Felipe Calderón. The decision to nominate López Obrador—who also ran in the hotly contested 2006 presidential race—was made following the release of poll results showing strong support for another bid among leftist voters.
The other top opposition candidate, Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard, said after the decision, “The left divided would just go to the precipice, and I won't be the one who divides it…I wish López Obrador the greatest of successes and he knows that he can count on my support and solidarity.”
Mexico watchers are quick to point out that López Obrador will likely face an uphill battle in the race against Peña Nieto. Many voters are still bitter about massive protests López Obrador staged across Mexico In the months after losing the 2006 race, including demonstrations that shut down Mexico City’s main thoroughfare, Paseo de la Reforma. López Obrador is also unlikely to win support from moderate supporters of Calderón’s conservative Partido Acción Nacional (PAN) party, which will announce its presidential nominee in February 2012. According to one October poll by polling firm Mitofsky, Enrique Peña Nieto leads López Obrador by 23 points.