Last week, hundreds of my Morena supporters cheered Claudia Sheinbaum as a possible candidate for the Presidency of the Republic, three years before that election takes place. I believe that they are within their rights, but also that in Morena we should reflect on the risks of advancing the dynamics of the presidential succession, especially since, today, in Morena about half of the country’s democratic power is disputed and Due to the great possibilities that it will be the party that wins the Presidency of the Republic in 2024, the sense of responsibility towards the country should be enhanced. This should be heard above all by leaders tempted to tilt the ground to one side or the other. This circumstance is new, radically different from what we experienced before on the left.
The first disadvantage of advancing the succession dynamics is, by definition, that the power of the ruler in turn is diminished, as always happens towards the last years of the six-year term. The current powers think more about ingratiating themselves with the future than with the present, the calculations are made to please people and not to agree on lasting rules, and political bets become more profitable than long-term investments or projects with a vision of the State.
The second is that the main operators in the country are distracted from their fundamental tasks or their constitutional mandates and their political action often results against the president — and the foundations of the regime he is trying to build. If, for example, before the controversy over Félix Salgado Macedonio, disrespect for the President was more infrequent, the discredit caused by the attacks among the leading figures of his government would result in multiplied damage. Perhaps the paradigmatic example of this type of damage caused by an advanced succession is 1968, when, among others, the interests of Luis Echeverría and Alfonso Corona del Rosal intersected, who had their sights set on 1970.
Advancing the dynamics of the succession also implies the strengthening of anti-democratic tendencies. Aspiring politicians are more concerned with winning the favor of key players in the powers – constitutional or factual – than with sowing popular sympathy. This could change if an eventual political reform established mandatory primary elections for all parties, a slope that we dragged from the political reform proposed by Manuel Ávila Camacho in 1945.
In our circumstance, furthermore, an advanced succession would be more serious, since it would imply resuming a vice of the old authoritarian hegemonic party regime – internal struggle – without its main incentive, which is the security of victory. We have seen, particularly in Mexico City and the main cities of our country, that the popular will is not guaranteed in favor of Morena. The internal struggle, by focusing the capacity for conviction and battle among the supporters of regime change instead of directing it to defeat the resistance to change and the reactionary efforts of the oligarchies, rather than being the prelude to power, can lead to the defeat of the transformation movement. _
Gibran Ramirez Reyes