Lopez Obrador elected Mexico’s president
A late-night official quick count from electoral authorities forecast that leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador would win with at least 53 percent of the vote, a margin not seen in the country for many years. His rivals have conceded the race.
Newly elected Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, acknowledges his supporters after winning the presidential election, Mexico City, July 1, 2018. (AFP)
Anti-establishment leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador won Mexico’s presidential election on Sunday by a large margin, after electoral authorities announced that a quick count forecast he had won over half the votes, a remarkable mandate not seen in the country for many years.
Lopez Obrador’s victory marks a shift to the left for Latin America’s second-largest economy and a major break with the two parties that have governed Mexico for nearly a century, the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and conservative National Action Party (PAN).
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he supports reaching a deal to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with the United States and Canada. Those talks have been stalled over the Trump administration’s demands for higher US content and a “sunset clause” in the 1994 trade agreement.
Lopez Obrador said he’ll propose that his own team of experts be included in the talks. The winning candidate said he will make that proposal in a meeting on Tuesday with current President Enrique Pena Nieto.
Lopez Obrador told the Televisa network on Monday that he will respect the current team of negotiators, and let them continue representing Mexico until he takes office on December 1.
Lopez Obrador said he wants to have information on what’s being discussed and “to help as much as we can.”
Secured 53 percent of vote
According to a preliminary count from the country’s electoral commission, Lopez Obrador secured around 53 percent of the national vote for Los Pinos.
Three polling firms gave the former Mexico City mayor the win. Newspaper El Financiero‘s exit poll gave him 49 percent of the vote to 27 percent for conservative Ricardo Anaya and 18 percent for governing-party candidate Jose Antonio Meade.
Thousands of Lopez Obrador’s supporters flooded the Zocalo, Mexico City’s main square, to celebrate their candidate’s victory, his third try at winning the presidency of the country.
TRT World ‘s Ediz Tiyansan reports from Mexico City.
In a speech, Lopez Obrador called for reconciliation after what he called a “historic day.”
Lopez Obrador vowed that profound change is coming, but said individual and property rights will be guaranteed. He promised respect for the autonomy of the Bank of Mexico and said his government will maintain financial and fiscal discipline.
He also said that contracts obtained under energy reforms will be scrutinised for any corruption or illegality, but said there will be no confiscation or expropriation of property.
Outgoing President Enrique Pena Nieto said in a televised message to the nation that he had congratulated Lopez Obrador.
Anaya, Meade concede defeat
Presidential candidates Ricardo Anaya and Jose Antonio Meade, of the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), accepted their election defeat on Sunday and congratulated Obrador on his win.
Anaya, who ran for a PAN-led coalition, said he had called Lopez Obrador to concede. “I recognise his victory and express my congratulations, and I wish him the greatest of success, for the good of Mexico,” he told supporters.
Meade said the leftist had “won the majority,” adding, “I wish Andres Manuel the greatest of success.”
Mexicans earlier lined up to vote for a new president on Sunday in an election tipped to hand power to an anti-establishment outsider who would inject a new dose of nationalism into government and could sharpen divisions with US President Donald Trump.
Trump, however, tweeted to congratulate Obrador on his election victory.
“Congratulations to Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on becoming the next President of Mexico. I look very much forward to working with him. There is much to be done that will benefit both the United States and Mexico!” said his tweet.
Congratulations to Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on becoming the next President of Mexico. I look very much forward to working with him. There is much to be done that will benefit both the United States and Mexico!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 2, 2018
First leftist president in decades
Lopez Obrador would become the first leftist to become president in decades in Mexico, Latin America’s No 2 economy, following an election marred by more than 100 murders of politicians by suspected drug gangs.
Runner-up in the 2006 and 2012 elections, Lopez Obrador pitches himself as the only man capable of cleaning up a political class whose credibility has been ground down by persistent graft, soaring crime levels and years of subpar economic growth.
“We are tired of so much corruption,” said Jose Alfredo Ortiz, a 32-year-old shopkeeper who planned to vote for Lopez Obrador in the gritty Mexico City suburb of Ecatepec.
“What people want is a change, somebody who will govern differently.”
The law bars current President Enrique Pena Nieto from seeking re-election. His popularity crumbled as his name became tainted by investigations into alleged conflicts-of-interest and embezzlement scandals engulfing top PRI officials.
— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) July 2, 2018