National Democratic Front (Mexico)

The National Democratic Front (Spanish: Frente Democrático Nacional) was a coalition of left-wing Mexican political parties created in 1988 presidential elections, and that is the immediate antecedent of the Party of the Democratic Revolution. It was result of an agglutination of small political left and center-left forces with dissident members of Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Their candidate for the presidential election was Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas.

National Democratic Front

Frente Democrático Nacional
LeaderCuauhtémoc Cárdenas
Founded1988 [citation needed]
Dissolved1988 (1988) [citation needed]
Merger ofSocialist Mexican Party
Authentic Party of the Mexican Revolution
Party of the Cardenist Front of National Reconstruction
Popular Socialist Party
Coalición Obrera, Campesina y Estudiantil del Istmo
Unión Popular Revolucionaria Emiliano Zapata
Central Campesina Cardenista
Central Independiente de Obreros Agrícolas y Campesinos
Asamblea de Barrios de la Ciudad de México
Unión de Colonias Populares[citation needed]
Succeeded byParty of the Democratic Revolution
(not legal successor)[citation needed]
IdeologySocial democracy
Political positionCenter-left to left-wing
FDN poster, published after the election. Slogan reads 'The People voted - Cárdenas won'



The National Democratic Front had its origins in the PRI, where the Democratic Current, headed by Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, Porfirio Muñoz Ledo, César Buenrostro, Ifigenia Martínez, among others, in 1987, tried, among other things, to democratize the internal election in the PRI. Finally after Carlos Salinas de Gortari was nominated the official candidate of the PRI by outgoing president Miguel de la Madrid, the members of the Democratic Current broke from the PRI, looking for a party to support Cárdenas' presidential candidacy.[citation needed]

On October 14, 1987, Cárdenas received the nomination by the Authentic Party of the Mexican Revolution (PARM). Shortly after, the Party of the Cardenist Front of National Reconstruction (PFCRN), the Social Democratic Party, the Popular Socialist Party (PPS), the Liberal Party and the Green Party (the predecessor the Ecologist Green Party of Mexico), all of them small political forces, endorsed him as well. These parties would only nominate Cárdenas as their candidate, but they would not contribute to the formation of the Party of the Democratic Revolution later.[citation needed]


Cárdenas and Muñoz Ledo created a pact in 1988 with the Mexican left in which the Mexican Socialist Party (whose candidate was Heberto Castillo) decided to support Cárdenas' candidacy as well. Also, the alliance with social organizations was obtained, like the Coalition of Workers, Peasants, and Students of the Isthmus (COCEI) (that had gained the local elections in Juchitán de Zaragoza), the Independent Central of Agricultural Workers and Peasants (CIOAC), the Assembly of Districts of the City of Mexico (created after 1985 earthquakes), the Union of Popular Colonies and the Revolutionary Union of Emiliano Zapata, among others. This agglomerate of civil parties and organizations they would be, along with the Democratic Current of the PRI, the base of future PRD.


The winning candidate of the race on July 6, 1988 was Carlos Salinas de Gortari, but he suffered a crisis of legitimacy, because Cárdenas proclaimed himself the winner accusing the PRI of having stolen the election.[citation needed]

After the elections, great part of the parties and social organizations who had formed the National Democratic Front decided to join forces into a new party, the Party of the Democratic Revolution, that would formally found in the May 5, 1989, with Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas as their president.[citation needed]