A baseball-loving left-wing nationalist who has vowed to crack down on corruption, rein in Mexico’s war on drugs and rule for the poor has been elected president of Latin America’s second-largest economy.
Manuel López Obrador is new Mexican president.
Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a silver-haired 64-year-old who is best known as Amlo and counts Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn among his friends, was elected with at least 53% of the vote, according to a quick count by Mexico’s electoral commission.
López Obrador’s closest rival, Ricardo Anaya from the conservative National Action party (PAN), received around 22% while José Antonio Meade, a career civil servant running for the Institutional Revolutionary party, or PRI, which ruled Mexico for most of last century, came in third with around 16%.
Addressing the media after those results were announced, López Obrador vowed to repay the trust put in him by millions of Mexicans. “I will govern with rectitude and justice. I will not fail you. I will not disappoint you. I won’t betray the people,” he said.
Mexico’s president-elect vowed to rule for people of all social classes, all sexual orientations and all points of view. “We will listen to everyone. We will care for everyone. We will respect everyone,” he said. “But we will give priority to the most humble and to the forgotten.”
During the campaign,
Obrador said he would consider partial drug legalization to reduce violence. He blamed U.S. “addiction” for much of the violence and said he would “not dance to the music” of U.S. President Donald Trump.
Earlier, with exit polls pointing to an Amlo landslide, his rivals began conceding defeat. “For the good of Mexico I wish him the very best of luck,” said Meade.
Anaya said: “As I said to him a few minutes ago on the phone I recognise his triumph, express my congratulations and wish him the best of luck for the good of Mexico … The citizens wanted a change and they opted in their majority for the alternative that he represents.”
As the scale of Amlo’s triumph emerged his supporters began flooding Mexico City’s intensely symbolic main plaza, the Zócalo, where he was due to make a victory speech.
“We’ve been hoping for this moment for more than 12 years,” said Oliver Izquierdo, 38, a film director who was among the jubilant crowds. “Finally democracy has made itself present in Mexico.”
Credit: The Guardian, www.theguardian.com