Leftist AMLO easily wins Mexico's presidency in groundbreaking vote

July 2, 2018

The leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (widely known as AMLO) won the presidency of Mexico on July 1 with more than 53% of the vote, according to a preliminary count released by Mexico's electoral authority INE.

With participation at 62.9% participation, Ricardo Anaya from the right-wing National Action Party (PAN) came second with just over 22% of the vote.

Writing at Real News, independent journalist Tamara Pearson noted AMLO will be the first president not from either the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) or PAN president in almost a century.

In his first public speech after the quick count was published, TeleSUR English reported that AMLO addressed his supporters from his campaign headquarters at the Hilton Hotel in Mexico City's and said he will combat and punish corruption, even if he has to go after his own partners in the struggle.

“The transformation we will carry out will basically consist on kicking out corruption from our country ... [C]orruption is not a cultural phenomena, but the result of a decadent political regime,” he said.

Regarding migration, AMLO said he would promote strengthening the internal market, to produce what the country consumes, and do everything necessary so Mexicans can stay, work and be happy in their place of origin. “Whoever wants to migrate he should do it out of pleasure and not out of necessity,” he said.

AMLO takes office on December 1, and said he would tour the country as president-elect as part of creating a government "of the people, by the people, for the people". He said his government will be a transition period for a new era in Mexico's history.

Pearson noted that AMLO's Moreno party supports “zero tolerance” of security force corruption, a law against conflict of interest, an “accelerated” transition over to renewable energy, and a return to peace in the streets and homes.

She said that there were fears of electoral fraud despite the early results indicating a big victory for the leftist candidate, noting "most Mexicans have little faith in their electoral system, with just 2% believing there is complete democracy in Mexico." In 2006, AMLO list a presidential election that many believed was stolen -- with huge protests erupting across Mexico against electoral fraud. At the time AMLO said “There has never been democracy in Mexico.” 

Pearson said by 2pm on election day, "there had been 324 electoral crimes denounced during voting, with vote buying and stolen voting credentials the most common crimes denounced".

"Meanwhile, some indigenous groups rejected the electoral process outright. The [radical indigenous] Zapatista movement rejected the 'rotten' system, and in Nahuatzén, Michoacan indigenous groups told authorities they wouldn’t allow booths in their communities. These communities elect their own leaders."

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