Political Parties in Mexico

MENU | Election 2018 | Overview | Timeline | Political Parties | Presidential Candidates | State & Local | Podcast

Mexico’s major political parties represent a wide variety of political and social perspectives. Nine political parties are currently represented in Congress. Two have a predominant role in Mexican politics: the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (Institutional Revolutionary Party, PRI) and the Partido de Acción Nacional (National Action Party, PAN). The Partido de la Revolución Democrática (Democratic Revolutionary Party, PRD) and the Movimiento de Regeneración Nacional (National Regeneration Movement, MORENA) also have notable representation in Congress.

The PAN, PRD and Movimiento Ciudadano registered the coalition party "Por Mexico Al Frente" with the INE on Dec. 8, 2017.

The Morena, PES and PT registered the coalition party "Juntos Haremos Historia" with the INE on Dec. 14, 2017.

The PRI, PVEM and PANAL registered the coalition party "Todos por Mexico" with INE on Jan. 5, 2018.



Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI)

The Institutional Revolutionary Party was the hegemonic political party in Mexico from its establishment in 1929 until 2000. Founded by President Plutarco Elías Calles in 1929 as the Partido Nacional Revolucionario (National Revolutionary Party, PNR), it functioned as the country’s only political party until the Partido Acción Nacional (National Action Party, PAN) emerged in 1939 as the opposition party. The PRI won every presidential election with well over a majority of the vote until 1982. However, rampant corruption and electoral fraud resulted in leftist members of the PRI forming their own party, the Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD), in 1989. The growth of both the PAN and PRD culminated in PRI’s loss of the presidency in 2000 and again in 2006. Enrique Peña Nieto, the most prominent member of the PRI, won the presidency in 2012 after serving as governor of the state of Mexico. Despite suffering presidential losses in 2000 and 2006, PRI representatives still hold the majority of governorships and positions in state legislatures and local governments. The PRI maintains a 50 percent gender quota for women.


Partido de Acción Nacional (PAN)

The National Action Party was founded in 1939 by Manuel Gómez Morán. The party was created in response to leftist actions by the Lázaro Cárdenas government, such as nationalization and land confiscation. Among the party’s first supporters were the Roman Catholic Church, the business sector and other opponents of Cárdenas’ populist policies. The PAN favors less government involvement in the economy. The party won its first major election in 1989, winning the governorship of the state of Baja California. Eleven years later, PAN candidate Vicente Fox won the party’s first presidency in 2000. The following presidential election in 2006 was also won by a PAN member — Felipe Calderón.


Partido Revolucionario Democrático (PRD)

The Democratic Revolutionary Party was created in 1989 by Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas. Many of the party’s members, including Cárdenas, are former members of the PRI. In fact, the PRD formed in large part due to alleged corruption by the PRI in the 1988 election. The PRD supports addressing social welfare issues, and is against the majority of the economic reforms that have been enacted in the country over the last three decades. It also aims to gain greater control over the economy and hopes to renegotiate parts of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the United States and Canada.



Partido del Trabajo (PT)

The Labor Party was founded on Dec. 8, 1990, and was officially recognized by the National Electoral Institute in 1993. The PT seeks to make sure that workers are not exploited, and it strives for a society that is just and equal, in which labor benefits the laborer. The Labor Party’s objective is to serve the people and give them a means to make decisions for themselves.


Partido Verde Ecologista (PVEM)

The Green Ecological Party was founded as the Partido Verde de Mexico in 1986 and has since grown to become Mexico’s fourth-largest political party. This growth is due in part to its alliance with the PAN during the 2000 Alliance for Change, and its subsequent alliance with the PRI beginning in 2006 as part of the Alliance for Mexico. In addition to its more traditional Green Party policies advocating for environmental protection, PVEM has adopted controversial policies and stances over the years, such as a pro-death penalty campaign in 2008. Currently, the PVEM holds 8 percent of the seats in the Chamber of Deputies, 5 percent of the Senate and the governorship in the state of Chiapas, which is up for election in 2018.


Partido Nueva Alianza (PANAL)

The New Alliance Party was founded in 2005 by the National Union of Education Workers as a liberal-center party, with a central focus on education. PANAL leaders have been accused of corruption in the past, though the party has been able to keep its registration in part due to its alliances with larger political parties like the PRI and PAN. However, there is speculation that a PANAL-PVEM-PRI alliance will form in the 2018 election. The party currently holds only 2 percent of the seats in the Chamber of Deputies and none in the Senate, and it has no governorships.



Movimiento Ciudadano

Citizen's Movement Party was founded in 1999 by Dante Delgado Rannauro as a part of the Alliance for Mexico. Movimiento Ciudadano has historically supported social-democratic policies, but it has also on occasion supported right-wing PAN candidates through its alliances. The party currently controls 4 percent of the seats in the Chamber of Deputies, but has no senators and holds no governorships.


Movimiento de Regeneración Nacional (MORENA)

The National Regeneration Movement was founded by former presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador in 2014 as a movement that calls on the people of Mexico to stand against what the party deems the current unjust, corrupt and authoritarian governing structure in Mexico. MORENA emphasizes a hard left-wing economic policy that focuses on market competition. In the 2018 election, López Obrador will be the party’s presidential candidate. The party is also predicted to be competitive in several other races, including the race for head of government in Mexico City. MORENA currently holds no governorships, but controls 8 percent of the seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 7 percent of the seats in the Senate.


Partido Encuentro Social (PES)

The Social Encounter Party is the newest registered political party in Mexico, and was founded in 2014 by Hugo Eric Flores Cervantes. Cervantes was previously a pastor of a neo-Pentecostal church, and founded the party as a “national political grouping” in 2006 prior to its official registration. PES is a conservative national party that openly supports anti-abortion policies and opposes same-sex marriage. In an effort to maintain its registration status, PES has aligned with parties that have less extreme conservative values, such as the PRD. The party currently holds 2 percent of the seats in the Chamber of Deputies, and has no Senate seats or governorships. In the 2018 election, PES must obtain 3 percent of the national vote in order to retain its status as a nationally registered political party.






Page content last updated on Dec. 12, 2017