Mexico City – Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard said Tuesday that he would set Mexico on a new course if he won the July 1, 2012, presidential election.
"Mexico needs a change in course, it's not a matter of an issue or to correct an area, the economy, education. No, it's a matter of the general course the country is on," Ebrard told MVS radio.
The politician published his platform in various dailies a few days before the Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, Mexico's most important leftist political party, holds an election giving voters a choice between him and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador as the party's candidate.
The 51-year-old Ebrard calls for fighting crime by "taking on criminal organizations with full determination, while respecting the rule of law," but he does not say whether the army will continue to play a role in the war on drugs.
The economic model being pursued by Mexico is obsolete and has produced "disastrous results" in the United States, where there is increasing social inequality, Ebrard said.
Mexico must "loosen up credit, which is very expensive," to bolster infrastructure spending and reduce the power of monopolies "both in public life and in the economy," the mayor said.
The government must work to "reduce inequality," which is rising in a country that has more than 50 million people living in poverty, Ebrard told MVS.
The current tax structure, which favors "the concentration of income," must be modified, Ebrard said.
"It's not via a value-added tax (VAT), it's via an income tax," the mayor said, adding that the system that allows corporations to pay low taxes must be changed.
Access to higher education must be expanded in Mexico, where six of every 10 young people are currently outside the formal education system, the politician said.
The powers of head of state and head of government should be separated, according to Ebrard, with the former being in charge of the armed forces, foreign relations and institutional representation, while the latter runs the executive branch.
It will be "very difficult" to win the 2012 presidential election with an "absolute majority," forcing political leaders to seek some sort of coalition government, Ebrard said.
The PRD's open primary election pitting Lopez Obrador against Ebrard will be held before Nov. 15.
The 57-year-old Lopez Obrador, a former Mexico City mayor who was the PRD's presidential candidate in 2006, is one of Ebrard's political mentors.