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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Mexico's PRI Finds Minority Status Difficult

MEXICO CITY -- House leaders of Mexico's longtime ruling party said they would allow the president to deliver his state-of-the-union address Monday, withdrawing a threat to boycott the first opposition-controlled Congress in decades.

Sunday's announcement came hours after President Ernesto Zedillo urged a divided Congress to work out its differences. Parties should follow the constitution and "undertake their best efforts to resolve the controversy,'' he said.

Zedillo's Institutional Revolutionary Party, known as the PRI, lost its seven-decade control of the lower house of Congress in July 6 elections. On the opening day of the new Congress on Saturday, opponents of the PRI consolidated their control of the legislature and elected their own man as speaker.

Calling the maneuvers illegal, PRI lawmakers had threatened to boycott the president's annual address and even set up their own legislature elsewhere.

But Arturo Nunez Jimenez, head of the PRI faction in Congress, backed away from the threat late Sunday, saying what is traditionally the most important presidential speech of the year must be delivered.

PRI majority leaders in the Senate, which is also invited for the speech, had earlier threatened to join the boycott but told the government news agency Notimex they also would attend.

On Saturday, four opposition parties, which control 261 of the 500 seats in the House of Deputies, elected Porfirio Munoz Ledo of the leftist Democratic Revolutionary Party as speaker.