Party of the Democratic Revolution

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Party of the Democratic Revolution
President Carlos Navarrete Ruiz
Secretary Héctor Miguel Bautista López
Founded May 5, 1989 (1989-05-05)
Split from Institutional Revolutionary Party
Headquarters Mexico City, Mexico
Ideology Social democracy[1]
Political position Centre-left[2][3][4] to Left-wing[5][6][7]
National affiliation Broad Progressive Front
International affiliation Progressive Alliance,[8]
Socialist International[9][10]
Continental affiliation Foro de São Paulo,[10] COPPPAL
Colours Yellow and Black [11]
Seats in the Chamber of Deputies
104 / 500
Seats in the Senate
22 / 128
4 / 32
Politics of Mexico
Political parties

The Party of the Democratic Revolution (Spanish: Partido de la Revolución Democrática, PRD) is a social democratic[12] political party in Mexico that champions democracy.[13] The PRD is a member of the Broad Progressive Front alliance and one of two Mexican affiliates of the Socialist International.[14]

The PRD originated from the Democratic Current, a political faction formed in 1986 of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (Spanish: Partido Revolucionario Institucional, PRI).[15] The PRD was formed after the 1988 electoral fraud which sparked a movement away from the authoritarian rule of the PRI.[16]


Early Origins[edit]

Break from PRI (1986-1988)[edit]

The Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) has its origins with the leftists members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).[15] The PRI had dominated Mexican politics since its founding in 1929.[17] In 1986, three PRI members- Rodolfo González Guevara, Porfirio Muñoz Ledo, and Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas- formed the Democratic Current, a political faction within the PRI.[15] The Democratic Current aimed to pressure the PRI to become a more democratic party and to address the issue of national debt including the social effects of the economic crisis that came from attempting to pay that debt.[15] The Democratic Current was also against the technocratization of the PRI and Mexico that was taking place under the De la Madrid presidency.[15] The people in power had not held public office and were scholars that were often educated abroad.[15] Conversely, the Democratic Current did not have many technocrats and was left out of the decision making process.[15] This political marginalization led the Democratic Current members to be more vocal about their concerns because they did not have a position of power to protect.[15]

Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Solórzano, Founder of the PRD

After public criticisms between the Democratic Current and the PRI, ten Democratic Current members signed Working Document Number One which was the official beginning of the Democratic Current.[15] However, the PRI refused to acknowledge the Democratic Current as an organization unless they joined a union, which was allowed in the PRI, for fear that they would cause division within the party.[15] Once Miguel de la Madrid's six year term as president was coming to a close, the PRI released a list of six possible candidates for president in which there was no process to apply and in which Cardenas was notably not listed.[15] On October 4, 1987 Carlos Salinas de Gortari was ultimately chosen as the PRI candidate.[15] Gortari did not embody anything that the Democratic Current wanted and many of the Democratic Current members left the PRI including Cárdenas during November 1987.[10][15] Some Democratic Current members went on to support Cárdenas in his 1988 quest for presidency and help in the founding of the PRD.

1988 Presidential Election[edit]

On October 12, Cárdenas became the Authentic Party of the Mexican Revolution’s presidential candidate while remaining an independent candidate due to electoral laws.[15] Remaining independent meant that many parties could choose Cárdenas as their candidate.[15] The groups of the independent left that supported Cárdenas were the Socialist Mexican Party which included the Unified Socialist Party of Mexico, the Mexican Workers' Party, the Patriotic Revolutionary Party, the Communist Left Unity, and the People's Revolutionary Movement.[10][15] The parastatal groups, state-owned enterprises that are separate from government, that supported Cárdenas were the Authentic Party of the Mexican Revolution, Popular Socialist Party, and the Party of the Cardenist Front of National Reconstruction which made up the National Democratic Front (Mexico).[10] Other groups that supported Cardenas were the Social Democratic Party, Ecologist Green Party of Mexico, Democratic Unity, Movement to Socialism, Critical Point Revolutionary Organization, and Neighborhood Assembly[10]

In the 1988 presidential election the independent candidate Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas had come closer than any other political candidate to winning against the PRI, which had been in power since 1929.[16] The win of the PRI's candidate, Carlos Salinas de Gortari, in 1988 was largely considered electoral fraud after the computers tabulating votes had reportedly crashed.[15] Years later, it was determined that there was indeed electoral fraud in the election.[16][15]


The 1988 electoral fraud sparked a movement against the authoritarian rule of the PRI and towards a democracy.[16] As an integral part of the movement towards democracy, the Party of the Democratic Revolution was formed as Mexico’s only leftwing party.[16] On May 5, 1989, Cárdenas declared the establishment of the PRD.[16] Former PRI members who also helped found the PRD include: Cárdenas, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Porfirio Muñoz Ledo, and Ifigenia Martinez y Hernandez.[16]

The party was originally founded by smaller left-wing parties such as the Partido Comunista Mexicano (PCM, Mexican Communist Party), Partido Socialista Unificado de México (PSUM, Unified Socialist Party of Mexico), Partido Mexicano Socialista (PMS, Socialist Mexican Party) and Partido Mexicano de los Trabajadores (PMT, Mexican Workers' Party).[16] The PMS donated its registration with the Federal Electoral Commission (CFE) to enable the new party to be established.[16]

During later elections, the PRD often claimed that the PRI was participating in electoral fraud.[16] This was in contrast to PAN, the conservative party, who chose to cooperate with the PRI.[16] However, the PRD also cooperated with the PRI to make policy changes that moved towards democracy.[16]

First Decade (1989-1999)[edit]

In the early years, the PRD was not successful in elections because of electoral fraud.[10] Salinas had made some improvements to the Mexican economy but Mexico still did not have a democratic system.[10] During this time the PRD had become involved with many social justice movements against the neoliberal and antidemocratic policies of the PRI.[10] However, according to López Castellanos, because the PRD began as a combination of many groups, there were many viewpoints and it was difficult to form a unified front.[10] Inside the PRD, there are "currents" that are dedicated to specific approaches and stances or about specific themes or movements.[10]

1994 Presidential Election: Cardenas[edit]

Cardenas ran for national presidency under the PRD in 1994.[15] During the 1994 presidential election, the PRI used its media influence to promote the idea that changing the governing party would disrupt the nation.[10]

After Presidential Elections[edit]

In 1997, the PRD won its first governorship with Cardenas as governor of Mexico City.[15] The PRD also gained the second largest majority in the Chamber of Deputies.[10] These victories were due in part to changes in electoral rules.[10]

This division between currents was seen during the internal election of March 14, 1999 when there were voting discrepancies.[10]

By the end of 1999, 650 PRD members of the PRD had been assassinated, mostly by the PRI, as a way to intimidate those working towards democracy, civic engagement, and social movements.[10]

Second Decade (1999-2009)[edit]

2000 Presidential Election: Cardenas[edit]

2006 Presidential Election: AMLO[edit]

The former mayor of Mexico City, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, was the presidential candidate for the "Coalición por el Bien de Todos" (Coalition for the Good of All) in the 2006 presidential elections. After the general election of July 2, 2006, and a recount of the 9.09% of the ballot tally sheets which supposedly presented irregularities, the Federal Electoral Institute recorded the vote results in favor of Felipe Calderón by a margin of 0.58 percent.[18] These results were later validated by the Federal Electoral Tribunal. However, the PRD claimed that there was election fraud.[16] The claims of election fraud have been rejected by the Federal Electoral Tribunal (TEPJF), which considered these "notoriously out of order" ("notoriamente improcedente") and certified PAN's candidate Felipe Calderón as the winner.

Later, AMLO rallied his supporters to hold demonstrations in the capital, Mexico City, which were organized by the PRD, whose stronghold is in Mexico City.[19] The PRD had called for demonstrations and set up camps in the capital's main square, blocking one of its main avenues (Paseo de la Reforma) for six weeks to demand a recount of all votes, which was not granted. The camps were later dismantled after confrontation with the Mexican Army became likely, and Obrador was declared "Legitimate President" by his followers in a "public open vote" (people in the main square raising their hands). Obrador does not recognize the legitimacy of Calderón.

PRD activists at rally

The PRD was criticized for not complying with the democratic system that it had lauded and helped create.[16] However, the PRD could not agree on whether they should move forward and cooperate with the current system and contribute to policy or take on an uncompromising stance in an attempt to overturn the current system.[16] This split later trickled on to other things such as electoral and petroleum reforms where one part of the party wanted to cooperate while the other refused to out of allegiance to AMLO.[16]

In 2008 after bitter infighting within the party Jesús Ortega, an opponent of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, was elected party president. In the 2009 legislative elections, López Obrador supported two smaller parties while maintaining his ties to the PRD.


The party had enjoyed a reputation of honesty unmatched by its competitors, until the "Video Scandals" a series of videos where notable party members were taped receiving cash funds or betting large sums of money in a Las Vegas casino.

Later, another video was recorded by Cuba's government where Carlos Ahumada, the man providing the money, states that members of the PRI and PAN, PRD's rivals, were planning the situation presented in the first video as part of a plot against Andrés Manuel López Obrador to discredit him as a possible presidential candidate[citation needed].

Party members who were seen on the video tapes were expelled from the party, but those who were supposedly associated, but never legally charged, are still active members.

Modern Era (2009-Present)[edit]

  States governed by the PRD.

2012 Presidential Election: AMLO[edit]

AMLO ran for president again in 2012.[16]

Electoral history[edit]

The party only has electoral presence in central and Southern Mexico, whereas in the North its voting averages is only 5%. It has won gubernatorial races in some states including Baja California Sur, Chiapas, Guerrero and Michoacán, although most of them have been obtained with former members of the PRI. It has also maintained control over the Federal District (Mexico City) since 1997, with three former members of the PRI. In the 2003 local elections, 13 of the Federal District's 16 boroughs (delegaciones) were won by PRD candidates; in the 2006 election, that figure rose to 14.

In the 2000 presidential election the Alianza por México (the "Alliance for Mexico", comprising the PRD and four smaller parties) candidate Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas won 16.6% of the popular vote and 15 seats in the Senate. Three years later in the 2003 legislative elections the party won 17.6% of the popular vote and 95 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.

In the 2006 legislative elections the party won 127 out of 500 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 26 out of 128 Senators.

Presidential elections[edit]

Election year Candidate # votes  % vote Result Note
1994 Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas 5,852,134 16.5 Red XN Defeated
2000 Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas 6,256,780 16.6 Red XN Defeated Coalition: Alliance for Mexico
2006 Andrés Manuel López Obrador 14,756,350 35.3 Red XN Defeated Coalition: Coalition for the Good of All
2012 Andrés Manuel López Obrador 15,848,827 32.4 Red XN Defeated Coalition: Progressive Movement

Congressional elections[edit]

Chamber of Deputies[edit]
Election year Constituency PR # of seats Position Presidency Note
votes  % votes  %
1994 5,590,391 16.7 5,728,733 16.7
71 / 500
Minority Ernesto Zedillo PRI Party (Mexico).svg
1997 7,435,456 25.7 7,518,903 25.7
125 / 500
Minority Ernesto Zedillo PRI Party (Mexico).svg
2000 6,948,204 18.7 6,990,143 18.7
67 / 500
Minority Vicente Fox PAN Party (Mexico).svg Coalition: Alliance for Mexico
2003 4,694,365 18.2 4,707,009 18.2
97 / 500
Minority Vicente Fox PAN Party (Mexico).svg
2006 11,941,842 29.0 12,013,364 29.0
158 / 500
Minority Felipe Calderón PAN Party (Mexico).svg Coalition: Coalition for the Good of All
2009 4,217,985 12.2 4,228,627 12.2
71 / 500
Minority Felipe Calderón PAN Party (Mexico).svg
2012 13,426,702 27.0 13,502,179 27.0
101 / 500
Minority Enrique Peña Nieto PRI Party (Mexico).svg Coalition: Progressive Movement
Senate elections[edit]
Election year Constituency PR # of seats Position Presidency Note
votes  % votes  %
1994 5,579,949 16.8
8 / 128
Minority Ernesto Zedillo PRI Party (Mexico).svg
1997 7,564,656 25.8
16 / 128
Minority Ernesto Zedillo PRI Party (Mexico).svg
2000 7,027,944 18.9 7,027,994 18.8
16 / 128
Minority Vicente Fox PAN Party (Mexico).svg Coalition: Alliance for Mexico
2006 12,292,512 29.7 12,397,008 29.7
36 / 128
Minority Felipe Calderón PAN Party (Mexico).svg Coalition: Coalition for the Good of All
2012 13,609,393 27.2 13,718,847 27.3
28 / 128
Minority Enrique Peña Nieto PRI Party (Mexico).svg Coalition: Progressive Movement

Governorships [14][edit]

Mexico D.F.[edit]
Years in Office Candidate Note
1997-1999 Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas
1999-2000 Rosario Robles
2000-2005 Andrés Manuel López Obrador
2005-2006 Alejandro Encinas
2006-2012 Marcelo Ebrard
2012-2018 Miguel Ángel Mancera
Years in Office Candidate Note
1998-2004 Ricardo Monreal Ávila
2004-2010 Amalia García
Years in Office Candidate Note
1999-2005 Alfonso Sánchez Anaya
Baja California Sur[edit]
Years in Office Candidate Note
1999-2005 Leonel Corta Montaño
2005-2011 Narciso Agúndez Montaño
Years in Office Candidate Note
2002-2008 Lázaro Cárdenas Batel
2008-2012 Leonel Godoy


The PRD believes that Mexico currently has major problems of economic and social inequality that halt social development and affect liberty and democratic coexistence.[13] Which is why the PRD has developed the following principles for their political party.


  • The PRD considers democracy to be the most fundamental principle that it hopes to establish in Mexico.[13]
  • The PRD believes that democracy is the political regimen that should be established in society because the ruling power goes to the people through voting.[13]
  • Which is why democracy rules the internal organization of the party.[13]
  • The PRD believes that democracy in Mexico is strengthened by an open, democratic, and transparent system of parties.[13]
  • The PRD acknowledges the diversity of Mexico and is committed to preserve and develop it.[13]
  • The PRD is also committed to a secular state in which there can be liberty, tolerance, and coexistence between all people.[13]

2. Human Rights[edit]

  • The PRD is against any form of segregation or discrimination.[13]
  • The PRD fights to promote, expand, respect, protect, and guarantee the exercise of human rights understood in its most broad meaning which includes:[13]
    • civil rights
    • political rights
    • economic rights
    • social rights
    • cultural rights
    • environmental rights
    • right to access to information
    • right to solidarity for the collective benefit for all citizens
    • and rights of ethnic groups
  • The PRD also emphasizes these rights in regards to the following groups
    • young people
    • children
    • women
    • senior citizens
    • the lesbian, gay, transexual, transgender, bisexual and intersexual community
    • migrant workers in our country and abroad.
  • The PRD recognizes indigenous communities as equal in regards to the human rights that they are entitled to, with differences that must be respected.[13]
  • These differences include their:
    • traditions
    • culture
    • forms of social expression
    • and language.
  • The human rights that they are entitled to include:
    • right to self autonomy
    • right to their land
    • right to the use of their land
    • right to conservation
    • right to collectively use their natural resources
    • right to access to economic development.[13]
  • The PRD believes it is an obligation of the state to support with public policy and methods necessary to guarantee the development of all indigenous communities and towns.[13]
  • The PRD sustains the fundamental principle of the San Andrés Accords.[13]
  • The PRD is also against the death penalty, militarization of police, and military jurisdiction to crimes and misdemeanors of civic order.[13]

3. Substantive Equality and Diversity in Regards to Sexual Orientation[edit]

  • The PRD believes in the equality between women and men as well as gender mainstreaming.[13]
  • The PRD champions the access to the same treatment and opportunities between men and women.[13]
  • The PRD strives for women to have access to exercise their human, sexual, and reproductive rights and to make choices about their body in a free and informed manner.[13]
  • The PRD promotes gender equality in all social spheres which are manifested in patriarchal and machismo-based power relations that threaten the dignity of women.[13]

4. Education, Science, and Culture[edit]

The PRD defends the educational principles that inspired the third article of the constitution and alights itself with an education -from beginning education to university- that is secular, public, free, scientific, and of quality, as well as an education that strengthens national identity.[13]

5. Economy[edit]

The PRD, since its founding, believes that the state should have jurisdiction and should intervene in the fundamental and prioritized areas of the productive sector, as are nutrition, production of clean energy, telecommunications, the process of technology, infrastructure, communication mediums, financial systems, and technology trade for the national and regional development, restraining ownership and dominion of hydrocarbons and radio-electric spectrum for the nation and the recovery of basic goods that guarantee our sovereignty.[13]

6. Social Justice[edit]

The PRD defends the rights of every Mexican worker, the preservation and expansion of social security and the permanent improvements of contractual conditions.[13]

7. Environment[edit]

The PRD adopts the principle of sustainable development as well as preserving the cultural environment. The PRD does this to satisfy the necessities of current and future generations, based on the responsible use of natural resources, including new tools for development, that would allow for the protection and recovery of the environment with comprehensive public policy.[13]

8. International Scope[edit]

The PRD supports the self-determination of communities, non-intervention, legal equality of states, the cooperation for national development and sovereignty and the respect and incorporation of international treaties to our legislation.[13]

Internal Organization[edit]

The PRD consists of: congresses, councils, and executive committees, an assembly, and a committee.[20] The nation, states, and municipalities have the same organization.[10] They each have a congress, a council, and an executive committee.[10] Congress has the most authority, the council coordinates communication between congresses, and the executive committee applies the guidelines set in place by the council.[10] The maximum rule for any elected position is three years.[20] The national, state, and municipal president cannot be reelected for the same position.[20] The PRD has an anti-discriminatory policy for its internal elections.[10] The PRD has policies put in place that guarantee the inclusion of women, young people, and indigenous people.[10]

The National Congress is the maximum authority of the PRD.[21] The National Congress approves the statue, the declaration of principles, the program, and the political organization of the party.[21] 90% of the National Congress is made up from delegates elected in municipal assemblies.[20] The rest of the National Congress is made up by two delegates for each State Council, the presidents of the State Councils, the members of the National Executive Committee, and by the elected delegates of the National Council that shall not exceed 4% of the total delegates in the Party's Congress.[20] The National Council chooses the majority of its 21 member executive committee except for the president of the party, the secretary of the party, and the parliamentary group coordinators.[20]

In 2014, the PRD became the first political party to have internal elections organized by the Federal Electoral Institute where those affiliated with the party could vote for the members of the National Congress and Council as well as State and Municipal Councils.[22][23] 2 million people participated in the internal elections which is about 45% of those affiliated with the party.[23]

Presidents of the Party[edit]

Years in Office President Note
1989-1993[14] Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas
1993[14] Roberto Robles Garnica Interim
1993-1996[14] Porfirio Muñoz Ledo
1996-1999[14] Andrés Manuel López Obrador
1999[14] Pablo Gómez Álvarez[14] Interim
1999-2002[14] Amalia García
2002-2003 [14] Rosario Robles
2003-2005 [14] Leonel Godoy Rangel Interim
2005-2008 [14] Leonel Cota Montaño
2008 [14] Graco Ramírez and Raymundo Cárdenas Legal representatives
2008 [14] Guadalupe Acosta Naranjo Interim
2008-2011 [14] Jesús Ortega
2011-2014 [14] Jesús Zambrano Grijalva

See also[edit]


  1. ^ La Botz, Dan (121), Democracy in Mexico: Peasant Rebellion and Political Reform, South End Press 
  2. ^ Langston, Joy (2008), "Legislative Recruitment in Mexico", Pathways to Power: Political Recruitment and Candidate Selection in Latin America (Penn State Press): 158 
  3. ^ Reyes-Heroles, Federico (2005), "Mexico's Changing Social and Political Landscape", Mexico's Democracy at Work (Lynne Rienner Publishers): 43 
  4. ^ Meade, Teresa A. (2010), of the Democratic Revolution centre left&f=false A History of Modern Latin America: 1800 to present, Wiley-Blackwell, p. 306 
  5. ^ Recondo, David (2009), "Mexico, an Emerging Economy in the Shadow of the Superpower", The Emerging States (Columbia University Press): 105 
  6. ^ Wainwright, Tom (17 November 2011), "The empire strikes back: The party that ruled Mexico for 71 years is hoping to win power again", The Economist 
  7. ^ Rubio, Luis; Davidow, Jeffrey (September–October 2006), "Mexico's Disputed Election", Foreign Affairs 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Member Parties of Socialist International". Socialist International. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u López Castellanos, Nayar (October 2001). Izquierda y neoliberalismo de México a Brasil. Mexico, D.F.: Plaza y Valdés, S. A. of C. V. pp. 105–124. ISBN 968856-825-2. 
  11. ^ "Estatuto". (in Spanish). Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  12. ^ Rhodes Cook (2004). The Presidential Nominating Process: A Place for Us?. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 118–. ISBN 978-0-7425-2594-8. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x "Declaración de Principios del Partido de la Revolución Democrática". (in Spanish). PRD. Retrieved 19 March 2015. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "PRD History Page". (in Spanish). Partido Revolucionario Democratico. Retrieved 2015-03-14. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Bruhn, Kathleen. Taking on Goliath: the Emergence of a New Left Party and the Struggle for Democracy in Mexico. The Pennsylvania State University Press. ISBN 0271015861. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Mossige, Dag (2013). Mexico's Left: The Paradox of the PRD. Lynne Rienner Publishers. ISBN 9781935049623. 
  17. ^ "Encyclopedia Britannica". Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). 
  18. ^ Felipe Calderón won over Andrés Manuel López Obrador by 0.58 percent
  19. ^ Hansen, Tom (2013). "Democracy in Mexico?". DePaul Journal for Social Justice 6 (2): 210–213. 
  20. ^ a b c d e f Favela, Alejandro; Martínez, Pablo (2003). México: ciudadanos y partidos políticos al inicio del siglo XXI (in Spanish). México, D.F.: Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana. p. 75. ISBN 970-31-0210-7. 
  21. ^ a b Prud'homme, Jean-François (Jan–Mar 2003). "El Partido de la Revolución Democrática: las ambivalencias de su proceso de institucionalización". Foro Internacional 43 (1): 103–140. 
  22. ^ "Elección Interna PRD" (in Spanish). Instituto Nacional Electoral. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  23. ^ a b Quiroz, Carlos (September 19, 2014). "INE entregó resultado de elecciones internas a dirigencia del PRD" (in Spanish). Excelsior. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 

External links[edit]