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Mexico: Prospects for the Future
Country Study > Chapter 4 > Government and Politics > Prospects for the Future


The presidential election of 1994 was unlike any election of the twentieth century. With more than 80,000 Mexican observers and 1,000 foreign poll watchers stationed around the country, the 1994 presidential election was, by far, the most open and honest in modern Mexican history. A high voter turnout (70 percent of the electorate) provided credibility to the election process and confirmed the government's commitment to, and the legitimacy of, democratic practices in Mexico. In his campaign, the new Mexican president, albeit representing the traditional forces within the official party, promised to divert powers from the executive branch to the other two branches of government. He also promised to democratize the PRI's presidential selection process.

Although significant changes during the 1990s have contributed to the development of a more competitive and democratic Mexican political system, a strong executive branch, as well as a close connection between the PRI and the government, continues to prevail as the official party enters its seventh decade in power. Most analysts agree that the period of PRI hegemony is over. The outcome of this new pluralism, however, is a matter for conjecture. Mexico today faces the challenge of maintaining political and economic stability while pursuing a dramatic transition toward an open economy and a competitive, pluralist political system.The body of work on Mexican politics is extensive. Recent books include Roderic A. Camp's Politics in Mexico, Wayne A. Cornelius and Ann L. Craig's The Mexican Political System in Transition, Dan A. Cothran's Political Stability and Democracy in Mexico, and Jaime E. Rodríguez's The Evolution of the Mexican Political System . Roger Hansen's The Politics of Mexican Development, although becoming dated, continues to provide the best analysis of the PRI. The articles on Mexico in Latin America and Caribbean Contemporary Record provide useful information on political and economic events, as do the articles on Mexico in the yearly special issue of Current History . Information on contemporary events is available in the Latin America Regional Reports: Mexico and Central America Report and Latin America Weekly Report, both published by Latin American Newsletters of London, and in various issues of the Financial Times, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the Mexican newspapers Excélsior, the News, and Uno Más Uno . (For further information and complete citations, see Bibliography.)

Data as of June 1996

Last Updated: June 1996

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Mexico was first published in 1996. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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