Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Solórzano (born May 1, 1934) is a prominent Mexican politician.
He was born in Mexico City, the son of Mexican President Lázaro Cárdenas del Río.
Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas served as governor of the state of Michoacán from 1980 to 1986, representing the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). After many disagreements with his party, he decided to leave; he then received the support from several small left wing parties and was the presidential candidate of the ADN, a loose alliance of these organizations in 1988.
Although he ultimately lost, many people believe that he was the actual winner: the ruling PRI was accused of rigging the election to favor their candidate Carlos Salinas de Gortari, famously claiming that there had been a massive systems crash with the computer system used to track the results and in line with their well known dubious electoral tactics.
The following year (5 May 1989) Cárdenas and other leading center-left and leftist politicians formally founded the Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD). He was this new party's candidate in the 1994 presidential election, in which he was placed third, after the PRI and PAN candidates, with 17% of the national vote.
In 1997 he was the PRD's candidate for the newly created post of Head of Government (Jefe de Gobierno) of the Federal District – effectively, a role lying somewhere between that of Mexico City's mayor and a state governorship. He won this election, held on 6 July 1997, with a 47.7% share of the popular vote.
He ran for the presidency again in 2000, and was again placed third, with a 16% share.