What is the Morena party, its ideology, and history in Mexico?

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The ruling Morena party, founded by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, will continue to lead the Government of Mexico following Claudia Sheinbaum’s victory in the presidential elections, according to preliminary results.

Morena defines itself in its statutes as a party of free men and women fighting for the democratic transformation of the country.

An edition of the magazine from the Institute of Legal Research of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), edited by José Pablo Martínez Gil, defines it as a nationalist left-wing political party and social movement.

And for the National Institute of Transparency, Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data (INAI), it is a center-left party focused on organizational action axes such as democratization, equality, and nationalism.

Ideology

Under the motto “Morena, the hope of Mexico,” this political body defines its proposal as a regime change to end corruption, impunity, abuse of power, and the unlimited enrichment of a few at the expense of the impoverishment of the majority of the population.

“Morena emerged with the purpose of ending this system of oppression, with the conviction that only the people can save the people and that only the organized people can save the nation,” reads its declaration of principles.

Moreover, it identifies as responsible for what it calls a system of corruption, anti-democracy, and injustice the parties that have governed Mexico for the last 30 years, which, according to its program, led Mexico to face economic and political crises, as well as social decay and violence.

Morena’s principles are based on 10 axes, among them:

  • Changing the traditional way of intervening in public affairs.
  • A peaceful and democratic change.
  • No single thought but democratic principles on a common goal.
  • Morena members are inspired by the history of the Mexican people’s struggle.
  • It is an open, plural, and inclusive space, in which Mexicans from all social classes and various currents of thought, religions, and cultures participate.
  • Generating a new culture, protecting nature, and preserving water and forests.
  • Valuing knowledge and learning from the experiences, scientific and cultural traditions of our own and other peoples.

“Fourth Transformation or 4T”

One of the most quoted phrases by López Obrador, which has become his slogan on his long road to the presidency of Mexico, is “the fourth transformation,” which seeks to position Morena at the level of other historical events in the country.

In the principles listed on its official page, it states that there have been three main transformations in Mexico: Independence, Reform, and Revolution. Thus, it proposes that Morena will drive the fourth social transformation in the country’s history.

“Chairos” and “Fifís”

The phenomenon of López Obrador’s movement has led to several phrases and words that have become popular in the Mexican imagination, among them “chairos” and “fifís.” The former has been adopted by opponents of the President of Mexico to address his followers; the latter has emerged from the mentions made by the head of state to criticize his adversaries.

According to the Dictionary of Mexican Spanish, “chairo” refers to a “person who defends social and political causes against right-wing ideologies but is attributed a lack of true commitment to what they claim to defend.”

Meanwhile, according to López Obrador, the term “fifí” refers to the “junior of conservatives, of oligarchs” (a form of government in which political power is exercised by a minority group). The president defines them as “puppets, conservatives, know-it-alls, hypocrites, two-faced,” he explained during a morning conference in 2019.

History of Morena

Morena was born in 2011 as a social movement led by Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who that year toured all the municipalities of the country to spread his project—which was not yet a political party—; however, he was already shaping up as a presidential candidate.

In 2012, López Obrador participated in the electoral contest for the presidency of Mexico in coalition with the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD)—of which he was a leader—, the Labor Party (PT), and the Citizen’s Movement (MC), but he was already gestating his political party Morena, which in 2012 had its first National Congress where the statutes and action plan of the organization were established.

It was not until 2014 that Morena met the requirements demanded by law to officially become a national political party, including an affiliation process to complete 0.26% of the electoral roll—approximately 220,000 citizens with voter credentials.

Its first electoral period was in 2015, and it achieved more than 8% of the vote by winning 14 relative majority districts and 21 proportional representation deputies, forming the first Morenista parliamentary group with 35 seats in the LXIII Legislature.

At that time, it also won 18 of the 33 electoral districts of Mexico City and became the fourth national political force, behind the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), National Action Party (PAN), and the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD).

Finally, in 2018, Morena led the coalition Together We Will Make History with the Labor Party (PT) and the Social Encounter Party (PES), which would lead López Obrador to become President of Mexico and obtain a parliamentary majority in the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate of the Republic.

By 2021, the party led by Mario Delgado managed to win 11 of 15 governorships, a majority in 19 local congresses, and the majority in the Chamber of Deputies.

In the June 2022 elections, Morena added more states, now with victories in Hidalgo, Oaxaca, Tamaulipas, and Quintana Roo. And, in 2023, it managed to take away the governorship of the State of Mexico from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), until then a bastion of that party.

Currently, Morena governs 21 of the 32 states of the country, including those it leads with its allies: Morelos (PES) and San Luis Potosí (PVEM). With this, it holds power over 71.8% of the state governments.

Source: CNN