Enrique Peña Nieto (born 20 July 1966) is the 57th and current President of Mexico. He is a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the former governor of the State of Mexico from 2005 to 2011. Peña Nieto was declared President-elect after the Mexican general election was declared valid by the Federal Electoral Tribunal. He assumed the office on 1 December 2012, succeeding Felipe Calderón as President of Mexico, thereby marking the return to power of the party that ruled Mexican politics for 71 consecutive years.
Peña Nieto had announced his presidential candidacy in September 2011, four days after leaving office as governor, formally registering in November of the same year. With only 38% of the votes and without a legislative majority, Peña Nieto marked the return of the PRI after a twelve-year hiatus on 2 July 2012, a party that had governed Mexico uninterrupted for 71 years until it was defeated by the National Action Party (PAN) in the year 2000.
The return of the PRI was not welcomed by everyone. Marches against Peña Nieto drew thousands of people across Mexico, particularly from the Yo Soy 132 student movement, who protested supposed voting irregularities and alleged media bias. Others protested that during its time in power, the PRI became a symbol of corruption, repression, economic mismanagement, and electoral fraud, and many Mexicans and urban dwellers are worried that its return may signify a return to Mexico's past. Nonetheless, Peña Nieto has denied such accusations, and promised that his government will be much more democratic, modern, and open to criticism. He also pledged that he will continue to fight organized crime and that there will be no pacts with the criminals.
The rule of the PAN, which was unable to pass reforms because it lacked a congressional majority, along with the idea that the PRI "knows how to govern" and how to manage the drug cartels, was compelling enough for many voters to cast their vote for Peña Nieto. Throughout the election, he maintained a wide lead in the polls. Peña Nieto proposed that he will reinvigorate Mexico's economy, permit the national oil company, Pemex, to compete in the private sector, and reduce drug violence that has left more than 55,000 dead in six years.