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The Old Guard in a New Mexico

How a Stronger Democracy Will Check the PRI

The PRI's candidate, Enrique Peña Nieto, campaigning in Mexico City. (Courtesy Reuters / Edgard Garrido)

After voting the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) out of Los Pinos, Mexico's presidential residence, twelve years ago, the country looks poised to bring it back. The PRI's candidate, Enrique Peña Nieto, continues to lead the majority of electoral polls by double digits, making it increasingly unlikely that his rivals will catch up by the time polls open on July 1. The same goes for Mexico's congress. With every seat up for grabs, the PRI looks to make headway and perhaps gain a majority in both houses. 

Political rivals and anxious commentators question whether a PRI victory will return Mexico to its less than democratic past. After all, for decades the PRI maintained control by buying votes, co-opting the opposition, and, at times, wielding a heavy repressive hand. Denise Dresser, a prominent Mexican political analyst, has

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