Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

How Newly-Elected Mexican President's Gov't Could Fail Before It Begins

Pedro Pardo  AFP  Getty Images Pedro Pardo AFP Getty Images
Nellie Chapman | 04 July, 2018, 02:33

Left-wing populist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been elected president of Mexico with at least 53 per cent of the vote, the electoral authority says.

Lopez Obrador, who will take office on December 1, won more than 53 per cent of votes in Sunday's election, preliminary results showed, more than double the votes of his nearest rival. She is now based in Mexico City. Newspaper El Financiero's exit poll gave him 49 percent of the vote to 27 percent for conservative Ricardo Anaya and 18 percent for ruling-party candidate Jose Antonio Meade.

"There is a lot of inequality, a lot of violence in this country", said Lopez Obrador voter Hugo Carlos, 73. Lopez Obrador has taken hits at Trump, and analysts have warned his win could ratchet up tensions between the USA and Mexico. Beyond that, Ross said it was unclear whether Mexico's incoming president would either bring in new negotiators or set a different agenda. And in Michoacan state, polling places in a few villages were cancelled after some inhabitants said they didn't want elections involving political parties, which they mistrust.

Only time will tell if these two non-traditional candidates will be able to build a non-traditional partnership that benefits both countries.

If that happens, it will mark a "major shift in Mexican politics and a coup for a party launched only six years ago, originally as a grassroots movement to support Lopez Obrador's 2012 campaign", Duncan Wood, director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, told Yahoo News.

Analysts with IHS Markit said that Lopez Obrador's congressional coalition will not it itself meet the two-thirds majority necessary to undo the country's landmark energy reform.

Mexicans have largely called for change in the run-up to these elections.

The election came amid a backdrop of mounting tensions between Mexico and the United States, which some analysts say have pushed relations between the two countries to one of the most divisive points in recent times. The Bank of Mexico hiked its main rate last month to 7.75%, the highest its been since 2009.

Lopez Obrador has said he will fund increased social spending on pensions for the elderly and scholarships for youths by eliminating waste and fighting corruption.

Even so, the peso weakened around 1 per cent against the dollar and Mexico's S&P/BMV IPC benchmark stock index was also down nearly 1.5 per cent as exit polls showed Lopez Obrador's MORENA party performed strongly in the elections, which were also for members of Congress.

Polls are beginning to close across much of Mexico or Sunday's presidential election.

But Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, suggested that the Republican president could find common ground with Lopez Obrador, predicting "some surprising results".

And he paid tribute to the role in the campaign played by outgoing President Enrique Pena Nieto and the media, both of which have felt the bite of his scorn in the past.

US President Donald Trump on Sunday congratulated Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on his landslide victory in Mexico's presidential vote, saying he looks "very much forward to working" with the anti-establishment leftist.

Pena Nieto said Sunday that the vote "should reaffirm us in our democratic vocation".

Compared with his predecessors, Lopez Obrador is likely to be more focused on domestic economic issues than on settling trade issues with the United States, O'Neil said.