Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Short Term Presidency

Pedro Lascurain was born in Mexico City in 1856.  He died in 1952 having lived a long and distinguished life.  Among his achievements was the attainment of the Presidency of Mexico, for Senor Lascurain was that nation's thirty-fourth President, serving on February 19, 1913.

Yes, Lascurain's was the shortest term ever served by a President of any nation, its duration not one day, but less than one hour!  Various accounts estimate the time at anywhere from fifteen to fifty-four minutes, with twenty-eight and forty-five minutes being the most often noted.  Apparently no one put a stopwatch on it.

Among Lascurain's achievements was a long term practice of the law to which he had been trained, director of a school of law, twice Foreign Minister under President Madero, Mayor of Mexico City, and of course, President of Mexico.

The constitutional line of succession to the Presidency was Vice President, Attorney General, Foreign Minister, then Interior Minister.  On the February day in question, Lascurain was Foreign Minister.  Enter one General Victoriano Huerta.  On this day, he overthrew Madero's government. A little intrigue to lend legitimacy to the takeover ensued.  The President, the Vice President, and the Attorney General were "persuaded" to resign.  This left our hero in line for the Presidency.

Huerta's scheme required Lascurain to be inaugurated President, then name Huerta Interior Minister, then resign, leaving Huerta to ascend to the Presidency.  Huerta offered Senor Lascurain a cabinet post, which he wisely declined and returned to his law practice.

And so it was, 102 years ago tomorrow.

References  (Yes, I use Google Translate.  It is better than nothing and far from perfect.)


Sharkbytes said...

Always someone working hard to game the system.

vanilla said...

Sharkey, and if that someone has enough guns. . .