Home / World / Win by López Obrador pushes Mexico sharply to the left

Win by López Obrador pushes Mexico sharply to the left

Mr. Lopez Obrador obtained almost 54% of the votes, according to more than half of the votes counted by the electoral agency of Mexico. That was more than 30 percentage points more than his closest, conservative rival

Ricardo Anaya,

who counted approximately 23% of the votes.

José Antonio Meade

of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, obtained only 15% of the votes.

The margin of victory and total of the winner was the largest in Mexico since 1982, before the country became a complete democracy.

Mr. The López Obrador coalition, led by its Movement for National Regeneration, or Morena, also obtained an absolute majority in both chambers of Congress in Mexico, winning 312 of the 500 seats in the lower house and 72 of 128 seats in the Senate, according to the estimates of the electoral agency seen by The Wall Street Journal. He also won four of the eight races of state governors and the mayoralty of Mexico City.

The results mark the first time since 1997 that a Mexican president will have control of Congress, and also the first time since 1997 that the same party will control both the federal government and Mexico City.

Early on Monday, Mr. López Obrador thanked the President of the United States

Donald Trump

to send congratulations on Sunday night. He said Mexico would seek to maintain a respectful relationship with the Trump administration. President Donald Trump congratulated Mr. López Obrador in a tweet, saying: "I look forward to working with him"

"We are not going to fight," Lopez Obrador told Televisa. "We will expand our open hand to seek a friendly relationship with the United States." He added that he would act "very prudently" in any response to Mr. Trump's often bellicose tweets.

Late Sunday, the victory of the left prompted scenes of jubilation in Mexico City. As Mr. López Obrador, who has made an austere lifestyle, was driven in his Volkswagen Jetta to the historic central plaza of the Zócalo in Mexico City to give his victory speech, the cars touched their horns to celebrate it, the passers-by they greeted him, and the passengers on the buses leaned out the windows to cheer him up.

In his victory speech, he declared a new era for democracy in Mexico on behalf of the poor. But he also sought to alleviate concerns that he return to Mexico to a bygone era of almighty presidents, vowing to respect the independence of key institutions such as the central bank, keep the country's finances stable and allow companies to operate freely. [19659002] "We will create an authentic democracy, we are not trying to build a dictatorship, whether open or hidden," he said to the applause of the supporters.

Until now, the financial markets seemed to be taking calmly the victory of the former mayor. The Mexican peso was weaker early Monday at 20.10 pesos per US dollar, compared to 19.91 on Friday night, but even stronger than its recent lows against the dollar.

The result turns Mexican politics and its traditional parties upside down and marks a strong reprimand President Enrique Peña Nieto and the ruling PRI, a party that ruled Mexico, had no rival during most of the 20th century and returned to the Power in 2012 after 12 years in opposition. The PRI had its worst result since its founding in the late 1920s, and it was projected that it would win approximately 43 seats in the lower house of 500 members compared to the current 204.

Mr. Lopez Obrador's victory could signal potentially far-reaching changes in the country's foreign policy-including the development of a more distant relationship with the US. UU. – and Mexico's free market economic model, where the leftist is likely to place greater emphasis on using the government to try to help the poor.

His overwhelming victory was a major boost for the left in Latin America, where leftist leaders in Brazil and Argentina have been removed from power and others in Venezuela and Nicaragua have been discredited as autocrats.

sir. López Obrador is a politician widely known and controversial in Mexico. Supporters see it as the only hope to clean up Mexican politics; critics see him as a messianic populist. Mr. López Obrador narrowly missed the presidential elections in 2006 and 2012.

This time, he capitalized on growing discontent among voters after a series of corruption scandals under Mr. Peña Nieto. At least 10 governors of Mexican states, mainly the ruling party, or PRI, have been convicted, arrested or accused of embezzlement and other crimes in recent years. Several remain fugitives.

For many voters, the choice was about "change": changing the traditional political parties they see as venal, the growing criminal violence and an open economy that has caused a boom in investment without reducing poverty or Inequality .

Margarita Silva, a 45-year-old English teacher in the central state of Hidalgo, said she voted for Mr. Peña Nieto in 2012, but voted this time for Mr. López Obrador.

"He won" We can get rid of the corruption from one day to the next, but at least he can start, "he said as he lined up early on Sunday at a polling station.

In many ways, the rise of Mr. López Obrador places Mexico in unexplored waters, he will be the country's first leftist president since the 1980s, the first in the impoverished south of the country in more than 70 years, and the first president who will not represent one of the two major parties. The 64-year-old man will also be the oldest president since 1913.

Mr López Obrador's proposals focus on increasing social spending and public investment, including a public works program to employ to 2.3 million young people, grants to 300,000 university students and a plan to double the amount of money older people receive as retirement pensions. The president of the USA UU

Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

To pay for his plan, Mr. López Obrador said he will not increase taxes but will save about $ 25 billion lost each year by ending corruption and saving another $ 20 billion more per year through a austerity plan that cuts the salaries and advantages of the main public officials.

Many economists say that the candidate's savings estimates for corruption and austerity are unrealistic and that he will have to choose between lowering his promises or incurring debts, which could possibly hurt the financial stability of Mexico, which cost so much to earn.

His victory can return Mexico to its foreign policy of the 1960s and 1970s that sought to chart an independent course from the US. UU And ally with the leftist governments of all Latin America. It is likely to end, for example, with Mexico's increasingly open criticism of the authoritarian government of Venezuela.

Nicolás Maduro

Already the leftists of the region, who have suffered a wave of electoral setbacks in recent years, were attracted by the victory of Mr. López Obrador. Among those who expressed their support were Mr. Maduro de Venezuela, the former President of Argentina

Cristina Kirchner,

The former leader of Brazil

Dilma Rousseff

and Evo Morales from Bolivia.

It could also mean a more distant relationship with the US. UU., Ending a period of the last 30 years that led to greater cooperation in areas ranging from migration and terrorism to the fight against illegal drugs. During that time, most of the presidents of Mexico had been educated at universities in the United States, especially the Ivy League, and they spoke English.

Mr. López Obrador, on the other hand, grew up at a time when the United States was considered Mexico's historic enemy. Admired Cuba and the former Chilean socialist leader

Salvador Allende,

who was overthrown in a coup backed by the US UU A baseball fan, he rarely traveled outside of Mexico.

"López Obrador is the least international Mexican president in a long time," he said.

Moisés Naim,

a former Venezuelan trade minister and member of the Carnegie Foundation for International Peace. "This will be a Mexico that looks inward."

The links between EE. UU And Mexico has suffered under Mr. Trump and could be further stretched under Mr. López Obrador. He has promised to be "prudent and respectful" with Mr. Trump, but he has also said that he would confront him, even on Twitter, if he continues to intimidate Mexico.

Upon assuming office, Mr. López Obrador will meet the highest expectations of voters since the 2000 elections when conservative

Vicente Fox

ended with the power of the PRI for 70 years. Since then, many Mexicans have felt disillusioned by a democratic experiment marked by weak economic growth, corruption and a homicide rate that has tripled since 2000 until now.

Much of Mr. López Obrador's appeal to the voters and his government's simple diagnosis plan of what ails Mexico: a "mafia of power" composed of prominent politicians and businessmen who, according to him, have The country has been plundered and ordinary Mexicans have been detained. Finally, it promises the fourth great transformation of the country, after the independence of Spain in 1821, the liberal reforms in the mid-1860s and the revolution of 1910.

Mr. Lopez Obrador, however, has not offered specific proposals on how to approach the graft, saying that other elected officials would follow his example of honesty.

Many believe that López Obrador is a danger to Mexico's young democracy. He barely tolerates criticism and has criticized institutions that do not agree with him in the past. He has said repeatedly that he distrusts civil society.

Relations with the main businessmen of Mexico promise to be controversial. He has promised to cancel a remarkable educational reform that established merit-based examinations and reevaluated the opening of the oil industry to private companies, two of the main achievements of Mr. Peña Nieto's period that the private sector defends.

Write to Juan Montes at juan.montes@wsj.com and Robbie Whelan at robbie.whelan@wsj.com


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