The United States of Mexico are a federal republic conformed by 31 states and a Distrito Federal, home of the capital city. Government is divided into three powers, the Executive that belongs to the Presidency; the Judiciary in hands of the Supreme Court of Justice; and the Legislative, ruled by Senators and by Representatives that act on behalf of each one of the states of the Federation.
The current political scenario includes the taking part of three major political parties : the PAN (Partido Accion Nacional ), the PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional), and the PRD (Partido Revolucionario Democratico). The elected president in the last elections that took place in 2006 is Mr. Felipe Calderon Hinojosa, a member of the PAN party, and who will be in office during the period of 2007-2012.
However, the present political environment would have been considered as utopian only a few years ago, as the country was plunged into what great Latin American writer Mario Vargas Llosa described as the "perfect dictatorship", for the PRI party ruled the destinies of the nation for 76 consecutive years. This party was formed in the year 1910, claiming to be the one which had taken up the standards and ideals of the Mexican Revolution, and which from 1929 brought social peace and political stability to the nation through the leadership of different politicians who were not allowed to run for re-election.
Nevertheless, as time went by, and under the guidance of President Carlos Salinas de Gortari, the party turned towards the neo-liberal approach that brings about open and free trade to Mexican economy and the signing of several international treaties, the larger of which is the NAFTA with its northern neighbors, the United States and Canada.
The lack of alternation in executive power in addition to economical underdevelopment are considered the foundations over which the PAN, a conservative party that aims towards a "orderly and generous homeland", built its strength to claim power in the 2000 elections, beginning so a new phase in the nation's political history. This democratic evolution is highly regarded around the world, and high hopes and expectations were put on the shoulders of President Vicente Fox.
During the second round of the 2006 elections, that included the PRI and the PAN parties, the representative of the PRD party, a controversial official of the Distrito Federal with populist approaches called Andres Manuel Lopez was defeated, and not conceding, became the leader of opposition and of a social movement of resistance that questioned the validity of the elections.
In present day, Mexicans have elected a member of the PAN party once more, Mr. Felipe Calderon Hinojosa, who has to respond to the expectation and responsibility of giving continuity to the legacy of his predecessor, who struggled to transform the nation into the place that people desire and hope for.