Mexico's ruling party chooses new leader

MEXICO CITY Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:48am GMT

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) picked a new chairman on Tuesday, handing the task of steering the centrist party through a series of key reforms to a close ally of President Enrique Pena Nieto.

Cesar Camacho, like Pena Nieto a former state of Mexico governor, will lead the party that recaptured the presidency after 12 years on the sidelines, pledging to curb drug violence and enact economic reforms in Latin America's second biggest economy.

"We decide to be guided by principles, not obedient to dogmas," Camacho said in speech to party members in Mexico City following his selection.

The PRI ruled Mexico from 1929 to 2000, often becoming a byword for corruption and heavy-handed governance.

The 53-year-old Camacho's selection came as Pena Nieto, who took office on December 1, aims to enact ambitious economic reforms, especially sweeping changes could significantly boost private investment in the country's lumbering energy sector.

Camacho replaces Pedro Joaquin Coldwell, who was named by Pena Nieto to be the country's new energy ministry earlier this month.

(Reporting by David Alire Garcia and Liz Diaz; editing by Christopher Wilson)

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