This election underscored a power struggle within the PRD between the hardliners supportive of the shadow presidency of Andrés Manuel López Obrador and the moderates who wanted to be allowed to work with the Calderón government. The moderate candidate was veteran PRD politician Jesús Ortega while the AMLO loyalist candidate was Alejandro Encinas. The vote ended with a tight victory for Ortega, but the hardliners refused to accept the outcome amid allegations of various forms of election fraud. A party conference was held in May that elected the previous deputy leader Guadalupe Acosta as the interim leader until the election dispute could be resolved.
On November 12 the Federal Election Court upheld Ortega's victory.