The governor of Baja California said Tuesday that he will step down early to take a position with a federal banking agency negotiating to reduce Mexico's foreign debt.
The surprise announcement by Xicontencatl Leyva Mortera at a press conference in Mexicali, the state capital, fueled speculation that he is being forced out by Mexico's new president, Carlos Salinas de Gortari. Leyva's term was to extend to the end of October, 1989.
Some Baja commentators have suggested that political leaders in Mexico City are unhappy with Leyva, whose five-year administration has been marked by several prominent scandals and political defeats. In July, 1988, Salinas was defeated in Baja by leftist Cuauhtemoc Cardenas.