Elections in Mexico: The challenges waiting López Obrador
The difficult challenge of changing Mexico.
At 10 pm last Sunday, the few available data pointed to an irreversible trend: the overwhelming victory of the coalition Juntos Haremos Historia (Together We’ll Make History) candidate and leader, Antonio Manuel López Obrador.
A certainty that was endorsed internationally by the official congratulations, one hour later, of the President of the United States, Donald Trump.
A message, Trump’s, delivered in a respectful and restrained tone, which included the proposal of initial contacts to update the long and conflicting bilateral agenda, with key issues such as the ongoing revision of the free trade agreement, the Latin migration to the US through its 3,000 km of shared land border, or the intense and bloody war against drug trafficking.
The final results came along claims of fraud and irregularities, but nobody has doubts about Obrador’s victory, quickly recognized by all parties.
With a participation close to 70% (higher than previous Presidential elections) López Obrador has won the presidency of Mexico with 53% of votes.
The National Action Party’s candidate came second with 22.52%, while third was the candidate of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (which obtained barely 16%).
But, beyond accessing executive power with the highest electoral margin in Republican history, López Obrador has also achieved a solid majority in Parliament and the Senate.
Furthermore he won in five of the nine regional states in dispute, as well as the most important municipalities and the regional legislatures.
An electoral tide that should allow him to govern for six years with strong leadership, something to take very much into account not only internally but especially in the conflictive relations with his powerful neighbour of the North.
In spite of the electoral figures, which speak of a broad popular clamour in favour of structural and deep changes within Mexico, many indications point to numerous doubts about the future policies of López Obrador.
Internally, it will be necessary to measure the attitudes of the new President-elect on issues such as: The fight against drug trafficking and the widespread institutional corruption.
Economic policies should lead, through a complicated and complex equation of trust between the business sector and a rise in real income in favour of workers and peasants, to a new role of the internal market, against the current neoliberal dynamics until now.
On the foreign affair front there are two well-defined issues: the first the relations with the US: The re-negotiation, under pressure imposed by Donald Trump, of the free trade agreement (also shared with Canada) is an important challenge for López Obrador.
The second issue is the Latin migration, criminalized by inhuman measures implemented by Washington: enough to remember that some 20 million Mexicans and descendants live in their northern neighbour.
The unknown surrounding the new new President of Mexico, who will take office on 1 December, swifts between a lot of expectations so diverse coming from the left to the very extreme left to the right.
All - lefts and rights - only meet in their desire to "change" the traditional and institutional Mexico, and in a leadership, that of López Obrador, built during 18 patient years in the oldest style of the Latin American caudillo tradition, through people, political and social forces united around a supreme and incontestable leader.
The victory of López Obrador in favor of a "change" desired by citizens is incontestable.
Now it is necessary to see and measure those who will truly benefit from the promised change.