NATIONAL ACTION PARTY
The National Action Party, founded in 1939, finds most of its present-day strength in the northern, industrial states of Mexico. PAN is seen as the pro-business, pro-Catholic, center-right alternative to the PRI. Historically, PAN has been Mexico's leading opposition party.
During the past decade, PAN has added more than 200 mayors to its ranks. The party won its first senate seat in 1991 and its first governorship in the northern state of Chihuahua in 1992.
The PRI still holds more seats than any other party in the Congress, but as of 1996, opposition parties, when aligned, gathered an 11-seat majority. PAN captured 121 seats, but was nudged out by the young PRD's 125.