Mexico: Left party makes gains in capital

June 14, 2015
Graffiti reads: 'Don't vote secretly for someone that will rob you publicly.'

The leftist political party led by two-time former presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will govern in areas representing more than 8 million people after Mexico's June 7 elections.

Lopez Obrador's National Regeneration Movement (Morena) took part for the first time in the mid-term elections. It won in six of the 16 districts of Mexico City, breaking the long-time hegemonic rule of the once popular Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) in the country's capital, which won five.

Morena will oversee one of the country's largest economic areas, the Cuauhtemoc electoral district, which generates about 21% of Mexico’s GDP and has nearly 2.5 million people. Morena will also govern in Tlalpan, Xochimilco and Tlahuac, which are considered rural, and Azcapotzalco which is an important industrial sector in Mexico City.

Lopez Obrador said: “Morena, the first political force in Mexico City. Thanks to the free, conscious and incorruptible citizens of the country's capital.”

However, it seems to be a bittersweet victory for leftists in Mexico, especially after the ruling Revolutionary Institutional Party (PRI) retained a slim working majority in the lower house of Congress. The election was reported as the most violent in decades. Ballot-burning incidents were reported in several restive states in southern Mexico in an attempt to boycott the vote.

With almost all votes counted, Morena is Mexico’s fourth strongest political group, with between 34 and 40 lawmakers in the Congress. The PRD — which lost popularity after 43 students were forcibly disappeared last September in the PRD-run state of Guerrero — will continue governing in six districts of Mexico City. The ruling PRI and its allies won in three districts.

Mexico's latest mid-term elections had the highest turnout registered in years, at about 48%. For the first time in the country’s history, an independent candidate won a governor post.

The elections were also considered a test of President Enrique Pena Nieto's popularity given the widespread social unrest over the corruption scandals, a lacklustre economy and human rights concerns that have dogged his three-year-old government.

[Reprinted from TeleSUR English.]

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