Mexican Ruling Party Candidate Pledges to Help Curb Corruption

(Bloomberg) -- The presidential candidate of Mexico’s ruling party candidate said he has the knowledge and ability to curb corruption, saying that nobody is above the law and reiterating that the most important issue to voters is bringing an end to impunity.

Mexican Ruling Party Candidate Pledges to Help Curb Corruption

Jose Antonio Meade, the former finance minister for President Enrique Pena Nieto who left government to pursue the Institutional Revolutionary Party’s nomination in November, portrayed himself as someone who knows how to reform the system from within and who played an important role in pursuing corruption cases against fugitive governors.

Meade said that the polls, most of which show him in third place behind leftist frontrunner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Ricardo Anaya, the candidate of an alliance led by the Nation Action Party, are a function of name recognition, and he still has time to close the gap once the campaign begins in earnest on March 30.

"I’m feeling confident that my trajectory, my recognition as somebody who has served honorably for the last 20 years, presents a very good contrast in terms of what Mexicans expect," Meade said in an interview with Bloomberg TV at the nation’s annual banking convention in Acapulco. "Somebody that’s going to run an honest administration, not just because I’m honest by myself but because I know what institutional changes need to be made in order for Mexico to enhance its rules of law."

Meade said the nation’s decision to make the attorney general an autonomous unit with power to investigate anyone and everyone, including himself should he win election, will help improve the rule of law and accountability. Pena Nieto’s popularity has touched record lows for a Mexican leader amid public outrage over insecurity and corruption.

Meade, 49, a Yale University-educated economist and technocrat, has struggled to shake off the shadow cast by Pena Nieto’s government after serving in cabinet positions such as foreign minister and social development minister. Anaya, 39, the former head of the PAN, is seeking to capitalize on public exhaustion with the PRI and wariness of Lopez Obrador, 64. The PRI’s choice of Meade marks the first time in the party’s nine-decade history that it chose a non-member as its candidate.

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