Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a candidate of the left, will be the next president of Mexico. According to the preliminary count by the National Electoral Institute, López Obrador won 53% of the votes, 31 points over his nearest rival and the largest figure
of any president in the democratic history of the country.
Likewise, the coalition that brought him to power has gotten a majority in Congress, in both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. This will make it easier for him to carry out the reforms that he has proposed, principally in education and energy.
This is the third time that the 64-year-old “AMLO,” as he is called, has tried to become Mexico’s president. He achieved his overwhelming victory thanks to a transversal coalition –it includes, among other elements, trade unions, religious groups and traditionally leftist sectors– and after a campaign characterized by dirty tricks on all sides and a significant number of assassinations of local candidates. People were tired of the violence and corruption in the country, and thus punished to party in power, but they were also moved by a leader who created a certain optimism because of his fight against corruption and poverty.
In his first speech as victor, López Obrador declared that his government will in no way be a dictatorship. He called for reconciliation in the country and gave assurances that he will not tolerate corruption in any staff members or his family circle. In an effort to assure the stock markets, he insisted on the autonomy of the Bank of Mexico. The new government will maintain financial and fiscal discipline, and there will be respect for existing commitments to Mexican and foreign banks and companies.
López Obrador insisted that contracts in the energy sector that have already been signed with private interests will be reviewed to prevent any corruption or illegalities. “If we find anything out of the ordinary that affects the national interest,” he said, “we’ll go to the Congress of the Union and the national and international courts. In other words, we’ll always follow the path of legality. We won’t act arbitrarily and no assets will be confiscated or expropriated,” he said.
It’s also worth mentioning that the president-elect’s cabinet consists of a group of highly qualified professionals, something the markets have seen as positive.
With regard to Mexico’s neighbor to the north, he stated that “with the government of the United States of America, we’re seeking friendship and cooperation for development, always founded on mutual respect and the defense of our migrant countrymen who live and work honorably in that country.”
Among the important challenges facing the new government from 2018 to 2024: reforms in education and energy; the fight against poverty, which affects some 45% of the population; stopping violence and the decline in law and order; fighting corruption; generating greater confidence in institutions and improving relations with the government of Donald Trump; migration and the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which includes Canada.