Andrés Manuel López Obrador, (AMLO), aka el Peje has kind of pulled a Putin with "his" party, the PRD. After his incredibly narrow loss to Calderón in the 2006 presidential election, Peje refused to accept defeat, set up a shadow government and generally alienated even his intellectual allies on the Mexican left. However, he has re-gained some traction (or suction as they call it on "the wire") with his opposition to any move to allow privatizing part of Mexico's petroleum industry and his criticism of Calderón ally and interior minister, Juan Camilo Mouriño, who "has been accused of steering lucrative contracts with the state oil monopoly to his family trucking business when he was the chairman of the energy committee in the lower house of Congress and, later, an assistant secretary of energy."
AMLO has been making political hay and re-gaining popularity. At the same time the PRD was undergoing a campaign and vote for a new party leader. Yesterday, Alejandro Encinas won the post in an election. Encinas is a close ally of AMLO and the WSJ opined last week that, "Mr. Encinas, a former member of the defunct Mexican Communist Party, vows to stick with Mr. López Obrador and take a hard line against Mr. Calderón's government. If he wins, Mr. Encinas will likely throw the entire party machinery behind Mr. López Obrador for another run at the presidency in 2012."
Here is a link to a spanish language story on the election outcome and it's significance for AMLO (Peje).