MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Former state governor Enrique Pena Nieto won Mexico’s presidential election on Sunday in a comeback for the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which ruled for most of the past century.
However the PRI and its Green allies appear to have fallen short of a majority in Congress, which would force him to negotiate with opponents to push through reforms.
Following are some facts on the man and his policies:
* The handsome 45-year-old Pena Nieto led the race to replace President Felipe Calderon from the start, building a platform for his candidacy during his governorship of the State of Mexico between 2005 and 2011.
* A fiscal conservative, Pena Nieto acquired a reputation for sound economic management in the state flanking Mexico City to the north, rolling out a series of public works.
* Still in his twenties when the PRI last won a presidential election in 1994, Pena Nieto’s youthful features have helped to put a new face of the party that dominated Mexico, sometimes ruthlessly, for most of the 20th Century.
* To demonstrate his credibility, Pena Nieto signed hundreds of pledges as governor that were witnessed by notaries. He then checked them off during his period in office, a strategy he repeated during his presidential tilt.
* Opponents accuse him of being a product of Mexico’s most powerful broadcaster Televisa, with whom he formed a cozy relationship in the State of Mexico.
* Credited with uniting the disparate strands of the PRI behind his candidacy, Pena Nieto’s debts to powerful supporters in the party may restrict his room for maneuver in office.
* A pragmatist who has shown he can work with politicians of all stripes, he has pledged to offer “a democracy of better results,” put more money into Mexicans’ pockets and raise annual growth to around six percent per annum.
* His main proposals to spur growth include liberalizing Mexico’s labor laws, shaking up the tax system to beef up government revenues and opening up state oil giant Pemex to more private investment, long held to be a taboo in the PRI.
* Reluctant to get caught up in the drug war that has dominated Calderon’s presidency, Pena Nieto has said his priorities are to reduce the killing, extortions and kidnapping that have marred Mexico’s international reputation.
* He is also promising to deliver universal social security coverage and pensions for Mexicans above the age of 65.
* Pena Nieto had three children with his first wife, who died after an epileptic seizure in 2007. Three years later he married television soap opera star Angelica Rivera.
* In January, he admitted cheating on his first wife and fathering two children with different women, though the revelation had little lasting impact on his ratings.
* More damaging to his image was his flub at a book fair in December when he struggled to name three books that influenced him - at an event where he was presenting his own book.
* After being heckled by students at a university appearance in Mexico City, aides said he had been the victim of a political ambush. This helped stir up youth opposition to Pena Nieto, which wobbled his momentum to the finish line.
* Dismissed by critics as a pawn of entrenched interests in the party, Pena Nieto has vowed to defend democracy and put an end to the abuses that dogged the PRI in the past.
* He has also pledged to step up antitrust measures, though aside from saying he will set up special tribunals to resolve competition disputes, details are vague on how he will do this.
* In his element among supporters, Pena Nieto’s boyish charms made him a hit with many women voters and his image was immortalized in toy dolls during the campaign. (Reporting by Dave Graham; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)