Mexico's Presidential Race Is Already On

The battle to succeed President Vicente Fox is heating up. On Mar. 26 political scientist Jorge G. Casta?eda threw his hat into the ring as an independent candidate, declaring that Mexicans were "fed up" with political parties that have failed them. Casta?eda, who has never belonged to a party, was Foreign Minister until he quit in 2003.

Meanwhile, Cuauht?moc C?rdenas, co-founder of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), resigned from the party leadership on Mar. 28, blaming infighting and allegations of corruption involving Mexico City Mayor Andr?s L?pez Obrador for damaging the PRD's image. C?rdenas, who has run for President three times, is vying with L?pez Obrador to be the PRD's candidate. Other hopefuls in the 2006 presidential race are Interior Secretary Santiago Creel of Fox's National Action Party and Institutional Revolutionary Party chief Roberto Madrazo. EDITED BY Edited by Rose Brady

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