- Purchase/rental options available:
Journal of Democracy 11.4 (2000) 183-187
[Access article in PDF]
Documents on Democracy
On July 2, Vicente Fox of the National Action Party (PAN) was elected president of Mexico, defeating Francisco Labastida of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and bringing to an end 71 years of PRI rule. The following are excerpts from the speech that Fox gave on the night of his victory:
Today you have made history. The people of Mexico calmly and confidently decided for change. There were no victors or losers. We all won. Today's election day has demonstrated the maturity of the Federal Electoral Institute, of our institutions, of our political system, and of the media. Moreover, it has shown the maturity of Mexico. Today's election day is a clear expression of the maturity of our country. We are crossing the bridge of alternation in power in a peaceful and legal manner. Today we are on the other side of the bridge and a new road begins.
My gratitude to President Ernesto Zedillo. He proved to be a statesman, a man who knew how to grasp the signs of the times and facilitated the democratic transition. The second of July will be one of the great days of the civic calendar of Mexico. What we Mexicans are experiencing today is the culmination of the fights of various generations; it is the culmination of the reforms promoted by all the political parties. We Mexicans had an outstanding appointment with history. Today we completely fulfilled that commitment.
Our first task will be to finish this passage with respect and generosity. The spirit that heartens me is that of culminating the transition without rancor and without resentment. I call upon all who gave me their vote to celebrate with all respect for the plurality and diversity of points of view, with tolerance, without revenge or revanchism. To my adversaries in this struggle I extend my hand so that, with the same determination with which we competed, we will move toward the transition in cooperation and in reform of national institutions. Today I ask everyone, with honor and without reservations, in a renewed spirit, to extend our hands to one another. [End Page 183]
In Mexico there will be a government of transition, plural and inclusive. I am going to work for all and with all. I will work with all the governors and with all the mayors, independent of their party affiliations. I summon all to launch a vigorous national movement from this democratic celebration. Unity will be our strategy, work our method. Our first obligation will be attending to the poor, who have hoped the most for justice. Within a democratic system we will find solutions to the problems that most deeply afflict us, those of misery, insecurity, ignorance, and violence. We call upon all to put aside their hostilities. To the Mexicans who have chosen violence, I invite them to return to the virtuous path of peace and dialogue. . . .
The eyes of the world are on Mexico. With this decision we Mexicans send a clear signal to the whole world: We want to be contemporaries of all the democratic nations. Mexico is taking this step in peace and in accordance with the law. A free Mexico is a sovereign Mexico. A democratic country is a respected country. . . .
We want a country with values. Brotherhood is the word of our future. We will have to be just and to show solidarity with one another. Ours will be a government of liberty and tolerance. . . . To all, with all my heart, I thank you. Today is a day of celebration. We can look to the future with optimism. Let us sleep well. Mexico has won.
On June 25-27, the foreign ministers or other representatives of 107 countries met in Warsaw at a conference entitled "Towards a Community of Democracies" (see below, p. 188). A final declaration was released on June 27. As the inclusion of some of the participating countries proved more controversial than the content of the statement, we include all the signatories in the excerpts that appear below:
We the participants from...