Mexico's 2006 presidential race is focus of conference at The University of Texas at Austin, Thursday, Sept. 8

AUSTIN, Texas—Scholars from both sides of the Mexico/United States border will meet with Mexican government officials at The University of Texas at Austin on Thursday, Sept. 8 and Friday, Sept. 9, to discuss the political future of Mexico as the country prepares for its July 2, 2006 presidential election.

Specialists at the two-day conference, titled “Accountability and the Rule of Law in Mexico on the Threshold of the 2006 Elections,” will analyze the strength of the institutional framework that will regulate and oversee the candidate selection, the campaign process and the voting procedures by which the Mexican citizens will elect their new president.

The conference from 4:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Thursday and from 8:45 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Friday in the Eidman Court Room at the Law School is free and open to the public. The university and Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO-México) organized the conference. Participants will discuss the status of Mexico’s democratic transition, the legal system that will regulate the campaign process and the dynamics of citizen participation in Mexico, as well as the involvement of Mexicans living in the United States.

The program will include panel presentations by scholars and officials and two keynote addresses, which will be presented in the English language.

The first keynote speaker, Dr. Jose Ramón Cossío, minister of the Supreme Court of Justice of Mexico, will talk at 4:45 p.m., Thursday on the topic, “Transparency as a Condition of the Rule of Law in Mexico.”

The keynote speaker on Friday, Dr. Luis Carlos Ugalde, councilor president of the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE), will talk about “The IFE and the 2006 Elections: The Challenge and the Opportunity.”

All proceedings will be webcast live and may be seen at mms:// Video streaming will begin one hour before the session begins each day.

The conference organizer, Dr. Peter Ward, a professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, said the conference is especially timely because only a few weeks ago it was finally determined that Mexican nationals living in the United States who are registered voters will, for the first time, be able to vote in these presidential elections.

The conference celebrates an agreement of cooperation between the FLACSO-México and the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies of The University of Texas at Austin.

More information is available by contacting Paloma Diaz at the Mexican Center, 512-232-2423 or online at “Accountability and the Rule of Law in Mexico on the Threshold of the 2006 Elections.”

For more information contact: Paloma Diaz, Mexican Center, 512-232-2423, or Robert D. Meckel, Office of Public Affairs, 512-475-7847.