Latin American governments often get a boost from the success of their national soccer teams. But Mexico’s emocionante advance at the World Cup on Wednesday probably can’t save the country’s ruling party from humiliating defeat in Sunday’s presidential election.
Polls show José Antonio Meade, the candidate of the centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party — the PRI — in third place. He’s 20 points behind the leader, left-of-center candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador. About the only way Meade can win is if the government pulls the sort of massive electoral fraud Mexico hasn’t seen since the PRI stole the 1988 election.
But this isn’t the 20th century, when the PRI could cheat more shamelessly than the New England Patriots. Back then, it ruled Mexico uninterrupted for 71 years, until voters ousted the party in 2000 and kept it out of power for 12 years. The PRI is all but certain to lose again on Sunday — and when it does it should do Mexico, the Americas and the world a favor.
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