Vicente Fox, National Action Party, gubernatorial race, agency heads, senate seat
Mexico’s political model theoretically has much in common with that of the United States. As with the U.S. government, Mexico’s government is divided into three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. In Mexico, however, the executive branch dominates the other branches to such an extent that the country effectively has a political system that is controlled by its president. For most of the 20th century, only one political party, the government-controlled Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), played an influential role in politics or in the decision-making process. After it was founded in 1929, the government party monopolized most national political offices. The PRI did not lose a senate seat until 1988 or a gubernatorial race until 1989. It lost the presidency for the first time in 2000, when Vicente Fox of the National Action Party (PAN) defeated the PRI candidate.
Given the dominance of the executive over the legislative and judicial branches, interest groups and lobbyists similar to those found in the United States have not developed in Mexico. Groups and individuals who wish to influence policy do so primarily through the executive branch, seeking contacts with agency heads and cabinet figures and, on occasion, with the president himself.
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