Grupo Televisa SAB : Mexico's President-Elect Puts Team to Work on Reform Agenda
07/11/2012| 04:20pm US/Eastern
-- Enrique Pena Nieto enlists trusted advisors to steer reform agenda
-- Campaign manager to lead economic team
-- President-elect must win support of political rivals in Congress
By Juan Montes
MEXICO CITY--Mexico's president-elect, Enrique Pena Nieto, said Wednesday that much of his campaign team will now shift gears to work on proposals for key economic reforms that are seen propelling Mexico toward greater economic growth.
Mr. Pena Nieto, who officially won the July 1 presidential election for the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, said at a news conference that the working group will focus on preparing key initiatives such as an overhaul of Mexico's tax code and suggestions for opening state-owned oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, to greater private investment.
Luis Videgaray, Mr. Pena Nieto's campaign manager and widely seen as Mexico's next finance minister, will coordinate the economic team, formed by public policy experts and scholars. Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, a top PRI official, will be in charge of reaching out to elected officials from other political parties for support on reforms as the PRI will probably fall short of an absolute majority in Congress.
Mr. Pena Nieto won the election by a margin of more than six points over his nearest rival in the contest. Still, the election result has been marred by allegations that the PRI bought votes.
At a moment when the legitimacy of his victory has been put into question, Mr. Pena Nieto said he was confident that Mexico's Federal Electoral Tribunal will validate the results by early September.
Mr. Pena Nieto named Jesus Murillo, another top PRI official, as the legal representative who will defend his victory before the tribunal.
The leftist parties led by the Democratic Revolution Party, or PRD, and the conservative National Action Party, or PAN, have accused the PRI of having bought votes and of having exceeded the legal spending limit during the campaign.
Both Mr. Pena Nieto and the PRI have denied any wrongdoing. "Now is the moment for dialogue," he said at the press conference, emphasizing that his presidency will be democratic and respectful of all political players.
Mr. Pena Nieto's victory represents the return to power of the PRI, the party that ruled Mexico for nearly 71 years until 2000. He is due to take office on Dec. 1.
The president-elect's working group will also work on the creation of a citizen-led national anti-corruption commission, and on measures to improve government transparency at the state and federal levels and monitor the relationship between government and the media.
Mexico's biggest broadcaster, Grupo Televisa (TV), has been accused of giving Mr. Pena Nieto preferential press treatment leading up to the election. Televisa denies that it gave Mr. Pena Nieto more favorable media coverage than his rivals.
Write to Juan Montes at email@example.com