* Deal includes telecoms, education reform
* Analysts doubt pact signifies quick action by lawmakers
MEXICO CITY Dec 2 Mexican President Enrique
Pena Nieto on Sunday signed a pact with the country's leading
political parties to increase competition in the
telecommunications sector and overhaul the education system.
The agreement was an effort to break through years of
political gridlock in Congress on Pena Nieto's second day in
Pena Nieto, 46, took office on Saturday, returning to power
his centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, after 12
years in the opposition. No party holds an outright majority in
"We have to negotiate to build consensus. Now is the
decisive hour in the history of the country that demands
politicians use common ground to reach essential agreements,"
Pena Nieto said at an event in the historic Chapultepec castle.
Former President Felipe Calderon's National Action Party, or
PAN, kicked the PRI out of office in 2000, pledging to
reinvigorate Mexico, but it struggled to broker major accords
during the 12 years it held the presidency.
Pena Nieto has promised to back some of the same economic
proposals that his PRI party fought while it was in the
PAN chairman Gustavo Madero signed the agreement along with
the chairman of the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution
(PRD), Jesus Zambrano.
The deal did not mention the closely watched tax and energy
plans that Pena Nieto's collaborators have said he will propose
during his first year in office.
Parties agreed to work on three reforms: to increase
competition in Mexico's telecommunications sector, improve the
management of local government finances, and modernize the
Mexico's phone market is dominated by billionaire Carlos
Slim's companies, while the television business is largely
controlled by broadcaster Televisa. Pena Nieto, who
is married to a star of one of Televisa's popular soap operas,
is seen as close to the broadcaster's owners.
Political analysts doubted the pact signaled a significant
advance that would translate into quick action by lawmakers.
"This is just a bunch of good intentions," said Fernando
Dworak, an expert on Mexico's Congress. "There are no guarantees
... there are enormous divisions in Congress."
Mexican lawmakers have been at loggerheads over major
economic reforms during the last 15 years, since the PRI lost
its majority in Congress. The PRI held the presidency for 71
years until its defeat in 2000.
Pena Nieto pledged to jump-start the country's economy when
he was sworn in on Saturday. He also promised to end years of
violence after more than 60,000 people died in battles between
drug gangs and security forces during Calderon's term.
On Sunday, local media reported seven dismembered bodies
were found in an abandoned lot in Torreon in the northern state
of Coahuila. The city has seen a 16-fold jump in murders since