A shocking development in Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s Morena party happened on Friday as his number two security official resigned from his position and defected from the party to run for governor on a smaller party instead.

Ricardo Mejia’s official resignation from his position as assistant secretary of public safety comes as he clarified that he wants to run for governor of the border state of Coahuila for the Labor Party instead of López Obrador’s Morena coalition party, which he claimed he was not an official member of, only a “sympathizer,” according to the Associated Press.

López Obrador had cobbled together the Morena party from different politicians around the country after his Presidential elections loss in 2012, and he reportedly has been uninterested in resolving many of the internal political problems happening from within the party while he is President, ABC News reported.

Mejia’s defection reportedly happened after the Morena party used a survey to instead choose someone else to run for the governor position in Coahuila, to which he has not hidden his dissatisfaction. Mejia has been a popular figure due to his position in the government, and has been the face of López Obrador’s “hugs not bullets” policy thus far.

“I have decided to resign my post to dedicate all my work to transforming Coahuila,” he said.

Mejia is being seen as the first in a potential wave of defections from the Morena party as López Obrador’s term comes to an end. Many have said that the party has maintained its cohesion due to the President’s popularity, and that it might dissolve by the 2024 elections once he is out of the picture.

Despite this pessimistic prediction from analysts, many politicians within the party are vying for the position of becoming the party’s Presidential candidate, including Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard, and Senator Ricardo Monreal.

Ebrard and Monreal are believed to be willing to leave the party if they are not chosen to become the Presidential candidate of the Morena party.

Mexico Official Party Defection Rep. Pic
Ricardo Mejia, the number two security official in Mexico, has resigned from his position as well as from the President's Morena party as he plans his bid for governor of the Coahuila state. This is a representational image. Jorge Aguilar/Unsplash.

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