Mexico's ruling party changes leadership amid lag in polls

Mexico's ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party has changed its leadership at a time the party is lagging badly in polls on the July 1 presidential race.

The new acting president is Rene Juarez, a seasoned party operator and former governor.

Juarez may ease discontent within the party's hard core over the designation of Jose Antonio Meade as presidential candidate. Meade is not a member of the party.

Juarez said he will focus on talking with the party's base, but he told local media Thursday "this is a critical, difficult, complex moment" for the PRI, as it's known in Spanish.

Meade was third in a poll published Wednesday by the newspaper Reforma, 31 points behind front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. The face-to-face poll had a margin of error of 3.6 percentage points.