News Around the Republic of Mexico | October 2005
|Presidential Hopeful for Mexico's Former Ruling Party Drops Out Amid Scandal|
E. Eduardo Castillo - Associated Press
Mexico City – Arturo Montiel, one of two main contenders for his party's 2006 presidential nomination, dropped out of the race on Thursday following allegations of alleged million-dollar property and bank transactions by him and his family.
|Mexican Arturo Montiel presidential hopeful for his party the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) waits to speak during a conference in Mexico City. Montiel, one of two main contenders for his party's 2006 presidential nomination, dropped out of the race on Thursday following allegations of alleged million-dollar property and bank transactions by him and his family. (AP Photo/Claudio Cruz)|
At a ceremony with the two remaining candidates, the former Mexico State governor said he dropped out for the good of his Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which ruled Mexico from 1929 to 2000.
"This is the most difficult decision of my life, but also the most honorable for me, and the healthiest for the future of the Institutional Revolutionary Party," he told a news conference.
"I will continue to fight for the cause in which I participate, for the growth of Mexico ... so that poor Mexicans can have a more dignified life," Montiel said.
The decision leaves front-runner Roberto Madrazo, and dark-horse candidate Everardo Moreno, still in the race for the PRI nomination. All potential candidates trail former Mexico City Mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the leftist Democratic Revolution Party in the polls.
Montiel had won a poll-driven contest among several other rivals for the right to face Madrazo, whose recent leadership of the party gave him control over much of the PRI party apparatus.
His resignation appears to leave Madrazo virtually unopposed.
Earlier this month, the Televisa television network reported on bank accounts and real estate transactions by Montiel, his wife and two sons. Montiel initially suggested Madrazo had leaked the information to the news media.
The reports alleged there had been cash deposits in 2000 and 2001, when Montiel still was governor, in bank accounts controlled by son Juan Pablo Montiel Yanez, totaling US$3.2 million (euro2.6 million).
The revelations came just days after PRI candidates registered for the primary race, effectively locking out newcomers, and about a month before party members choose a candidate.
Since then, reports have also surfaced of numerous luxury properties that allegedly belong to Montiel and his family. Montiel has denied any connection to some of those properties.
President Vicente Fox of the National Action Party defeated the PRI in the 2000 election, ending 71 years of uninterrupted PRI rule.