Mexico Political System

According to, with capital city of Mexico City, Mexico is a country located in North America with total population of 128,932,764.


Mexico is a federal republic of 32 states. The capital of Mexico City, formerly its own administrative unit, is today its own state named Ciudad de Mexico (formerly the Distrito Federal).

The federal president is elected for six years and is head of state and government as well as commander-in-chief. At the head of a state stands a governor with a term of office of six years. Formally, the states have far-reaching self-government but the revenue comes almost entirely from the central government and historically the local administration has been a tool for implementing the president’s policies. Neither the president nor the state governors can be re-elected.

The Congress, which is the legislative body, consists of two chambers: the House of Representatives with 500 members, elected in general and direct elections every three years in a mix of proportional and majority elections, and the Senate, with 128 members representing the states, elected in six years. A congressman can be re-elected but only after a term of office.


The Constitution was adopted in 1917, at the end of the Revolutionary period, and states that Mexico is a democracy with multi-party systems, independent authorities and a free press. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how MX can stand for Mexico. But the electoral system was long controlled by the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) which, when required through cheating, arranged for the party’s candidates to win.

The authorities followed orders from the presidential palace and the press was controlled by bribery and the allocation of papers for newspapers and licenses for TV and radio stations. The party governed politics and the economy and the president unabashedly set the agenda for the nation’s development through an effective mix of populist measures, the acquisition of critics and oppression.

During the 1980s and 1990s, a series of reforms were implemented to strengthen democracy through greater independence for the courts and control authorities, increased room for political opposition, and independent media and civil society organizations. However, Mexico remains a centrally governed country with a system built for a dominant state-carrying party. While the PRI dominated the country, Congress acted as a loyal support troop to the president and the system was not built to handle a parliament in opposition to the executive power.

Since the historic shift in power in 2000, when the PRI candidate lost the presidential election against Vicente Fox of the conservative Partido Acción Nacional (PAN), it has become increasingly difficult to create powerful governments, despite the strong presidential power. At the next election in 2006, the PRI became only the third largest party after the PAN and the Left Alliance Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD), and many predicted that the party would disappear from Mexican politics. See for how to get to Mexico.

The 2006 presidential election was won by PAN’s candidate Felipe Calderón following a lengthy voting process in which PRD candidate Andrés Manuel López accused Calderón of electoral fraud. Once Calderón took office, one of his first steps was to declare war on the country’s growing drug cartels. Compare Mexico (Drug Trafficking) and Mexico (Business and Economy).

The 2012 election marked a return to PRI, which won the presidential post with candidate Enrique Peña Nieto at the same time as the party became the largest party in Congress. Peña Nieto promised to reform the country through broad agreements and presented a proposal called “A Pact for Mexico” signed by both opposition parties PAN and PRD. The pact was about strengthening the rule of law, increasing economic growth to reduce poverty, and reducing violence and corruption.

Although Peña Nieto managed to get through several important reforms, such as opening up the telecom and oil sector to competition, economic growth was modest. Since Donald Trump was elected US president, trade conflicts with the US, Mexico’s most important trading partner, have also contributed to lower growth. Trump calls for the Free Trade Agreement NAFTA negotiated on which the parties Mexico or Canada opposed. As a result, the United States has imposed duties on goods from its neighboring countries. Mexico has responded with tariffs on, among other things, steel, pork, cheese and whiskey from the USA. The hopes that PRI would put a stop to the drug-related violence have not been fulfilled, and after some reduction during Peña Nieto’s first term in power, the violence increased again during his final year. In total, at least 100,000 people were killed since the state declared war on the cartels in 2006.

The election year 2018 was marked by threats and murders of candidates, where over 100 politicians were murdered during the campaign. Drug cartels are identified as guilty of most of the murders and the general level of violence increased.

In the election, the ruling party set up PRI with former Finance Minister José Antonio Meade (born 1969) as his candidate. The other two large traditional parties PAN and PRD joined forces in a valiant alliance with Ricardo Anaya (born 1979) as joint candidate. Left Party Morenas (National Renewal Movement) candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador (born 1953) won the election with about 54 percent of the vote. In addition to the traditional parties, three independent candidates succeeded in the election, which was allowed for the first time.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador made the choice to break the power monopoly of the traditional parties, which he believes are the root cause of the country’s widespread corruption and poverty. During the campaign, he promised social reforms in the form of increased wages, better pensions, investments in new jobs and measures against corruption and violence.

See also History.


The country’s federal structure has affected both the judicial organization and the legal system in general. Each state has its own courts, but the federal judicial system, consisting of district courts, district courts (appellate courts) and a supreme court, is most important.

The legal rules are codified under the strong influence of French and Spanish law. Some laws, such as the Commerce Act, are common to all of Mexico, while each state has its own civil law, criminal law, civil laws, and criminal laws. However, they are very similar. The death penalty was abolished in 2005; the last execution took place in 1937.

Heads of State


1877-80 Porfirio Díaz
1880-84 Manuel González
1884-1911 Porfirio Díaz
1911 Francisco León
1911-13 Francisco Madero
1913-14 Victoriano Huerta
1914-20 Venustiano Carranza
1920 Adolfo de la Huerta
1920-24 Álvaro Obregón
1924-28 Plutarco Elías Calles
1928-30 Emilio Portes
1930-32 Pascual Ortiz
1932-34 Abelardo Rodriguez
1934-40 Lázaro Cárdenas
1940-46 Manuel Ávila
1946-52 Miguel Alemán
1952-58 Adolfo Ruiz
1958-64 Adolfo López Mateos
1964-70 Gustavo Díaz Ordaz
1970-76 Luis Echeverría
1976-82 José López Portillo
1982-88 Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado
1988-94 Carlos Salinas
1994-2000 Ernesto Zedillo
2000-06 Vicente Fox
2006-12 Félipe Calderón
2012-18 Enrique Peña Nieto
2018- Andrés Manuel López Obrador