National Action Party (Mexico)

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National Action Party

Partido Acción Nacional
President Marko Cortés Mendoza
Secretary-General Héctor Larios Córdova
Founder Manuel Gómez Morín
Founded16 September 1939 (1939-09-16)
HeadquartersAv. Coyoacán No. 1546 Col. Del Valle, Delegación Benito Juárez, D.F., Mexico City
Youth wing Acción Juvenil (Youth Action)
Ideology Conservatism
Liberal conservatism [1] [2] [3]
Christian democracy [4]
Political position Center-right [5] [6] [7] to right-wing [8] [9] [10]
International affiliation International Democrat Union
Centrist Democrat International
Regional affiliation Union of Latin American Parties
Christian Democrat Organization of America
Colors         Blue and White
SloganPor una patria ordenada y generosa y una vida mejor y más digna para todos
(For an orderly and generous homeland and a better and more dignified life for all)
Seats in the Chamber of Deputies
79 / 500
Seats in the Senate
24 / 128
11 / 32
Seats in State legislatures
229 / 1,123

The National Action Party (Spanish : Partido Acción Nacional, PAN), founded in 1939, is a conservative political party in Mexico, one of the three main political parties in Mexico. Since the 1980s, it has been an important political party winning local, state, and national elections. In 2000, PAN candidate Vicente Fox was elected president for a six-year term; in 2006, PAN candidate Felipe Calderón succeeded Fox in the presidency. During the period 2000-2012, both houses of the Congress of the Union (the federal legislature) contained PAN pluralities, but the party had a majority in neither. In the 2006 legislative elections the party won 207 out of 500 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 52 out of 128 Senators. In the 2012 legislative elections, the PAN won 38 seats in the Senate, and 114 seats in the Chamber of Deputies. [11] The members of this party are colloquially called Panistas.

Spanish language Romance language

Spanish or Castilian is a Romance language that originated in the Castile region of Spain and today has hundreds of millions of native speakers in the Americas and Spain. It is a global language and the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese.

Conservatism is a political and social philosophy promoting traditional social institutions in the context of culture and civilization. The central tenets of conservatism include tradition, human imperfection, organic society, hierarchy, authority, and property rights. Conservatives seek to preserve a range of institutions such as religion, parliamentary government, and property rights, with the aim of emphasizing social stability and continuity. The more traditional elements—reactionaries—oppose modernism and seek a return to "the way things were".

A political party is an organized group of people, often with common views, who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government. The party agrees on some proposed policies and programmes, with a view to promoting the collective good or furthering their supporters' interests.



20th century

Manuel Gomez Morin, founder of the PAN in 1939 Manuel Gomez Morin.jpg
Manuel Gómez Morín, founder of the PAN in 1939


The National Action Party was founded in 1939 by Manuel Gómez Morín, who had held a number of important government posts in the 1920s and 1930s. He saw the need for the creation of a permanent political party rather than an ephemeral organization to oppose the expansion of power by the post-revolutionary Mexican state. [12] [13] When Gómez Morín was rector of UNAM between 1933 and 1935, the government attempted to impose socialist education. In defending academic freedom, Gómez Morín forged connections with individuals and groups that later came together in the foundation of the PAN in September 1939. The Jesuit student organization, Unión Nacional de Estudiantes Católicos (UNEC), provided a well-organized network of adherents who successfully fought the imposition of a particular ideological view by the state. Gómez Morín was not himself a militant Catholic, but he was a devout believer who rejected liberalism and individualism. [14] In 1939, Gómez Morín and a significant number of UNEC's leadership came together to found the PAN. The PAN's first executive committee and committees on political action and doctrine also had former Catholic student activists, including Luis Calderón Vega, the father of Felipe Calderón, who was elected President of Mexico in 2006. [15] The PAN's “Doctrine of National Action” was strongly influenced by Catholic social doctrine articulated in Rerum novarum (1891) and Quadragesimo anno (1931) and rejected Marxist models of class warfare. [16] The PAN's newspaper, La Nación was founded by another former UNEC member, Carlos Séptien García. [17]

Manuel Gómez Morín Mexican politician

Manuel Gómez Morín was a Mexican politician. He was a founding member of the National Action Party, and one of its theoreticians. Prior to this he was considered a leading figure in Mexican monetary policy, one of the so-called Siete Sabios de México.

National Autonomous University of Mexico public research university in Coyoacán, Mexico City, Mexico

The National Autonomous University of Mexico is a public research university in Mexico. It ranks highly in world rankings based on the university's extensive research and innovation. UNAM's campus is a UNESCO World Heritage site that was designed by some of Mexico's best-known architects of the 20th century. Murals in the main campus were painted by some of the most recognized artists in Mexican history, such as Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros. In 2016, it had an acceptance rate of only 8%. UNAM generates a number of strong research publications and patents in diverse areas, such as robotics, computer science, mathematics, physics, human-computer interaction, history, philosophy, among others. All Mexican Nobel laureates are either alumni or faculty of UNAM.

Luis Calderón Vega (1911–1989) was a Mexican politician and writer. Along with other leading opposition politicians, he was one of the founders of the National Action Party (PAN) in 1939.

Efraín González Luna, a former member of the Mexican Catholic Student Union (Unión Nacional de Estudiantes Católicos) (UNEC), a long-time militant Catholic and practicing lawyer from Guadalajara, helped broker the party's informal alliance with the Catholic Church. However, the relationship between the PAN and the Catholic Church was not without tension. The party's founder Gómez Morín was leery of clerical oversight of the party, although its members were mainly urban Catholic professionals and businessmen. For its part, the Church hierarchy did not want to identify itself with a particular political party, since the Constitution of 1917 forbade it. In the 1950s, the PAN, which had been seen to be Catholic in its makeup, became more ideologically secular. [17]

Electoral results

The PAN initially was a party of “civic example”, an independent loyal opposition that generally did not win elections at any level. However, in the 1980s it began a transformation to a political power, beginning at the local and state levels in the North of Mexico. [18] A split in the PAN occurred in 1977, with the pro-Catholic faction and the more secular wing splitting. The PAN had updated its positions following Vatican II, toward a greater affinity for the poor; however, more traditional Catholics were critical of that stance and nonreligious groups were also in opposition, since they wanted the party to be less explicitly Catholic and draw in more urban professionals and business groups, who would vote for a nonreligious opposition party. The conflict came to a head, and in 1977 the progressive Catholic wing left the party. [19] The party ran no presidential candidate in 1976.

The PAN had strength in Northern Mexico and its candidates had won elections earlier on, but these victories were small in comparison to those of the Institutional Revolutionary Party. In 1946, PAN members Miguel Ramírez Munguía (Tacámbaro, Michoacán), Juan Gutiérrez Lascurain (Federal District), Antonio L. Rodríguez (Nuevo León) and Aquiles Elorduy García (Aguascalientes) became the first four federal deputies from the opposition in post-revolutionary Mexico. The following year Manuel Torres Serranía from Quiroga, Michoacán became the party's first municipal president and Alfonso Hernández Sánchez (from Zamora, Michoacán) its first state deputy. [20] In 1962, Rosario Alcalá (Aguascalientes) became the first female candidate for state governor and two years later Florentina Villalobos Chaparro (Parral, Chihuahua) became the first female federal deputy. In 1967 Norma Villarreal de Zambrano (San Pedro Garza García, Nuevo León) became the first female municipal president.

Institutional Revolutionary Party Mexican political party

The Institutional Revolutionary Party is a Mexican political party founded in 1929 that held uninterrupted power in the country for 71 years from 1929 to 2000, first as the National Revolutionary Party, then as the Party of the Mexican Revolution, and finally renaming itself as the Institutional Revolutionary Party in 1946.

Tacámbaro City in Michoacán, Mexico

Tacámbaro is a municipality located in the central region of the Mexican state of Michoacán. Its largest city and municipal seat is Heroica Tacámbaro de Codallos.

Michoacán State of Mexico

Michoacán, formally Michoacán de Ocampo, officially the Free and Sovereign State of Michoacán de Ocampo, is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. The State is divided into 113 municipalities and its capital city is Morelia. The city was named after José María Morelos, one of the main heroes of the Mexican War of Independence.

Accion Juvenil official logo Logo Accion Juvenil.png
Acción Juvenil official logo

Until the 1980s, the PAN was a weak opposition party that was considered pro-Catholic and pro-business, but never garnered many votes. Its strength, however, was that it was pro-democracy and pro-rule of law, so that its political profile was in contrast to the dominant Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) that was widely and increasingly seen as corrupt. The PAN came to be viewed as viable opposition party for a wider range of voters as it became more secular and as Mexicans increasingly moved to cities. As the PAN increasingly called for end of fraud in Mexican elections, it appealed to a wider range of people.

In 1988, the newly created Assembly of Representatives of the Federal District had, for the first time, members of the PAN. In 1989, Ernesto Ruffo Appel (Baja California) became the first opposition governor. Two years later, his future successor in the Baja California government, Héctor Terán Terán, became the first federal senator from the PAN. From 1992 to 2000, PAN candidates won the elections for governorships in Guanajuato, Chihuahua, Jalisco, Querétaro, Nuevo León, Aguascalientes, Yucatán and Morelos. [20]

Ernesto Ruffo Appel Mexican politician

Ernesto Ruffo Appel is an American-born Mexican politician famous for being the first elected state governor not affiliated to the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) since that party’s inception in 1929.

Héctor Téran Terán was a Mexican politician, member of the National Action Party (PAN), and governor of the state of Baja California.

Guanajuato State of Mexico

Guanajuato, officially the Free and Sovereign State of Guanajuato, is one of the 31 states which, with Mexico City, are the 32 federal entities of Mexico. It is divided into 46 municipalities and its capital city is Guanajuato. The largest city in the state is León.

21st century

Electoral victory for the presidency, 2000

Vicente Fox, first PANista to be elected president of Mexico (2000-06), ended more than 70 years of PRI rule. Vicente Fox 2.jpg
Vicente Fox, first PANista to be elected president of Mexico (2000-06), ended more than 70 years of PRI rule.

In the 2000 presidential elections, the candidate of the Alianza por el cambio ("Alliance for Change"), formed by the PAN and the Ecologist Green Party of Mexico (PVEM), Vicente Fox Quesada won 42.5% of the popular vote and was elected president of Mexico. Fox was the first opposition candidate to defeat the candidate of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and its precursors after 71 years. It was a significant victory not only for the PAN, but Mexican democracy.

In the senate elections of the same date, the Alliance won 46 out of 128 seats in the Senate. The Alliance broke off the following year and the PVEM has since participated together with the PRI in most elections.

Felipe Calderon, President of Mexico (2006-12) Felipe Calderon H.jpg
Felipe Calderón, President of Mexico (2006-12)
State governments by party (2017) Mexico Governors Map.svg
State governments by party (2017)

In the 2003 mid-term elections, the party won 30.74% of the popular vote and 153 out of 500 seats in the Chamber of Deputies. In 2003, the PAN lost the governorship of Nuevo León to the PRI and, the following year, failed to win back the state of Chihuahua from the PRI. Coupled with a bitterly fought election in Colima that was cancelled and later re-run, these developments were interpreted by some political analysts to be a significant rejection of the PAN in advance of the 2006 presidential election. In contrast, 2004 did see the PAN win for the first time in Tlaxcala, in a state that would not normally be considered PAN territory, although its candidate was a member of the PRI until a few months before the elections. It also managed to hold on to Querétaro (by a mere 3% margin against the PRI) and Aguascalientes (although in 2007, it lost most of the municipalities and the local Congress to the PRI). However, in 2005 the PAN lost the elections for the state government of Mexico State and Nayarit to the PRI. The former was considered one of the most important elections in the country because of the number of voters involved, which is higher than the elections for head of government of the Federal District. (See: 2003 Mexican elections, 2004 Mexican elections and 2005 Mexican elections for results.)

Significantly in the 2006 presidential election in 2006, the PAN candidate Felipe Calderón was elected to succeed Vicente Fox. Calderón was the son of one of the founders of the PAN, and was himself a former party president. He was selected as the PAN's candidate, after beating his opponents Santiago Creel (Secretary of the Interior during Fox's term) and Alberto Cárdenas (former governor of Jalisco) in every voting round in the party primaries. On July 2, 2006, Felipe Calderón secured a plurality of the votes cast. Finishing less than one percent behind was Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who challenged the results of the election on possible grounds of electoral fraud. In addition to the presidency, the PAN won 206 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 52 in the Senate, securing it the largest single party blocs in both houses.

In 2007, the PAN lost the governorship and the majority in the state congress of Yucatán to the PRI as well as the municipal presidency of Aguascalientes, but kept both the governorship and the majority in the state congress of Baja California. The PRI also obtained more municipal presidents and local congresspeople in Chihuahua, Durango, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, Chiapas and Oaxaca. The PRD obtained more posts than the PAN in Zacatecas, Chiapas and Oaxaca.

In 2009, the PAN held 33 seats in the Senate and 142 seats in the Chamber of deputies. [11]

Return of the PRI to presidency

In 2012, the PAN lost the Presidential Election to Enrique Peña Nieto of the PRI. They also won 38 seats in the Senate (a gain of 3 seats), and 114 seats in the Chamber of Deputies (a loss of 28 seats). [11] The government of president of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto (EPN) has faced multiple scandals, and allegations of corruption. Reforma who has run a surveys of presidential approval since 1995, revealed EPN had received a mere 12% approval rating, the lowest since they started to survey for presidential approval. The second lowest approval was for the Ernesto Zedillo (1994-2000), also from the PRI. It also revealed that both presidents elected from National Action Party (PAN), Vicente Fox (2000-2006) and Felipe Calderon (2006-2012), both had higher presidential approvals than the PRI presidents. [21]


The PAN has been linked to a conservative stance in Mexican politics since its inception, but the party does not consider itself a fundamentally conservative party. The party ideology, at least in principle, is that of "National Action" which rejects a fundamental adherence to left- or right-wing politics or policies, instead requiring the adoption of such policies as correspond to the problems faced by the nation at any given moment. Thus both right- and left-wing policies may be considered equally carefully in formulation of national policy.

This theory of National Action politics, rejecting a fundamental adherence to right or left, is held within a strongly Christian context, and falls under the umbrella of Christian democracy.[ citation needed ]

The party theory was largely developed by early figures such as Gómez Morín and his associates. However, some observers consider the PAN claim to National Action politics to be weakened by the apparent persistent predominance of conservatism in PAN policy in practice. The PAN has similarities with Europe and Latin America's Christian democratic parties.

Economic policies

The PAN currently occupies the right of Mexico's political spectrum, advocating free enterprise, pragmatism, small government, privatization and libertarian reforms as well. The PAN is a member of the Christian Democrat Organization of America. In general, PAN claims to support free enterprise and thus free trade agreements.[ citation needed ]

Social policies


Carlos Abascal, secretary of the interior in the latter part of the Fox administration, called emergency contraception a "weapon of mass destruction" in July 2005. [22] It was during Fox's term, however, that the "morning-after" pill was legalized, even though the Church had condemned the use of these kind of pills, calling them "abortion pills".

The PAN produced a television spot against state-financed abortion, one that features popular comedian Chespirito (who was also featured on a TV spot promoting Vicente Fox in the 2000 presidential elections) and a second one that accuses the PRI and PRD of wanting to kill the unborn. [23] After the abortion bill, which made abortion available, anonymous, and free or government-paid, was approved at the local legislature, the PAN requested the Human Rights Commission of the Federal District (CDHDF) to enact actions on the unconstitutionality of the measure, the CDHDF rejected the request as it found no basis of unconstitutionality. [24] After unsuccessfully appealing to unconstitutionality, the PAN declared that it may request the remotion of Emilio Álvarez Icaza, the president of the Human Rights Commission of the Federal District, for his lack of moral quality. [25] The PAN, with the members of the Association of Catholic Lawyers, gathered signatures and turned them in to the Federal District Electoral Institute (IEDF) to void the abortion bill and force a referendum, [26] which was also rejected by the IEDF. In May 2007, the PAN started a campaign to encourage rejections to perform abortion amongst doctors in the Federal District based on conscience. [27]

Opposition to same-sex unions in Mexico

The PAN has opposed measures to establish civil unions in Mexico City and Coahuila. On November 9, 2006, the government of the Federal District approved the first law establishing civil unions in Mexico. The members of the PAN, and a member of New Alliance were the only legislators that voted against it. [28]

The same year, the local legislature of Coahuila approved the law of civil unions to which the PAN also opposed. [29] The PAN also lodged an unconstitutionality plea before the Supreme Court of Justice of the State of Coahuila, alleging that the constitution has vowed to protect the institution of the family. [30]

Guillermo Bustamente Manilla, a member of the PAN and the president of the National Parents Union (UNPF) is the father of Guillermo Bustamante Artasánchez, a law director of the Secretary of the Interior, Carlos Abascal, during Fox's presidency and worked in the Calderón administration against abortion and same-sex civil unions. [31] He called the latter as "anti-natural." [32] He has publicly asked voters not to cast votes for "abortionist" parties and those who are in favor of homosexual relationships. [33]

Party Presidents

1.- Resigned to run for president

Electoral history

Presidential elections

Election yearCandidate# votes% voteResultNote
1952 Efraín González Luna 285,5557.8Red x.svg Defeated
1958 Luis H. Álvarez 705,3039.4Red x.svg Defeated
1964 José González Torres 1,034,33711.0Red x.svg Defeated
1970 Efraín González Morfín 1,945,07014.0Red x.svg Defeated
1976 No CandidatenullnullSteady2.svg
1982 Pablo Emilio Madero 3,700,04516.4Red x.svg Defeated
1988 Manuel Clouthier 3,208,58416.8Red x.svg Defeated
1994 Diego Fernández de Cevallos 9,146,84125.9Red x.svg Defeated
2000 Vicente Fox 15,989,63642.5Green check.svgElectedCoalition: Alliance for Change
2006 Felipe Calderón 15,000,28435.8Green check.svgElected
2012 Josefina Vázquez Mota 12,786,64725.4Red x.svg Defeated
2018 Ricardo Anaya 12,609,47222.3Red x.svg DefeatedCoalition: Por México al Frente

Congressional elections

Chamber of Deputies

Election yearConstituencyPR# of seatsPositionPresidencyNote
1946 51,3122.2
4 / 147
Minority Miguel Alemán Valdés PRI logo (Mexico).svg
1952 301,9868.3
5 / 161
Minority Adolfo Ruiz Cortines PRI logo (Mexico).svg
1958 749,51910.2
6 / 162
Minority Adolfo López Mateos PRI logo (Mexico).svg
1964 1,042,39611.5
20 / 210
Minority Gustavo Díaz Ordaz PRI logo (Mexico).svg
1970 1,893,28914.2
20 / 213
Minority Luis Echeverría Álvarez PRI logo (Mexico).svg
1976 1,358,4039.0
20 / 237
Minority José López Portillo PRI logo (Mexico).svg
1982 3,663,84617.5
51 / 400
Minority Miguel de la Madrid PRI logo (Mexico).svg
1988 3,276,82418.0
101 / 500
Minority Carlos Salinas de Gortari PRI logo (Mexico).svg
1994 8,664,83425.88,833,46825.8
119 / 500
Minority Ernesto Zedillo PRI logo (Mexico).svg
1997 7,696,19725.97,792,29025.9
121 / 500
Minority Ernesto Zedillo PRI logo (Mexico).svg
2000 14,212,03238.214,321,97538.3
223 / 500
Minority Vicente Fox PAN Party (Mexico).svg Coalition: Alliance for Change
2003 8,189,69930.78,219,64930.7
151 / 500
Minority Vicente Fox PAN Party (Mexico).svg
2006 13,753,63333.413,845,12133.4
206 / 500
Minority Felipe Calderón PAN Party (Mexico).svg
2009 9,679,43528.09,714,18128.0
143 / 500
Minority Felipe Calderón PAN Party (Mexico).svg
2012 12,895,90225.912,971,36325.9
114 / 500
Minority Enrique Peña Nieto PRI logo (Mexico).svg
2015 8,346,84622.068,379,27022.06
108 / 500
Minority Enrique Peña Nieto PRI logo (Mexico).svg
79 / 500
Minority Andrés Manuel López Obrador Morena Party (Mexico).svg Coalition: For Mexico to the Front

Senate elections

Election yearConstituencyPR# of seatsPositionPresidencyNote
1994 8,805,03825.7
25 / 128
Minority Ernesto Zedillo PRI logo (Mexico).svg
1997 7,880,96626.1
33 / 128
Minority Ernesto Zedillo PRI logo (Mexico).svg
2000 14,208,97338.114,339,96338.2
60 / 128
Minority Vicente Fox PAN Party (Mexico).svg Coalition: Alliance for Change
2006 13,889,15933.514,035,50333.6
52 / 128
Minority Felipe Calderón PAN Party (Mexico).svg
2012 13,126,47826.313,245,08826.3
38 / 128
Minority Enrique Peña Nieto PRI logo (Mexico).svg
22 / 128
Minority Andrés Manuel López Obrador Morena Party (Mexico).svg Coalition: For Mexico to the Front


See also

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