For the first time in Mexico’s modern democratic history, independent candidates without a party affiliation will be able to compete in a presidential election next year. The first three presidential races since 2000, when Mexico’s democracy was consolidated, required candidates to represent a registered political party.
A handful of presidential hopefuls with diverse political credentials and personal backgrounds met the mid-October deadline to register independent candidacies. They now aim to alter the political dynamics ahead of Mexico’s 2018 election, with potentially major repercussions for the country over the next six years.
Mexican citizens warmly welcomed the ratification of the electoral reform allowing independent candidacies in 2014, hoping that it would shake the country’s political system to its core. According to the Pew Research Institute, 93 percent of Mexicans are dissatisfied with the way democracy works in their country, characterized by a corrupt political class serving vested interests that has failed to deliver significant economic opportunities for the population at large.