Leftist wins Mexico's presidential election by a landslide

Mexican leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador won by a landslide in Sunday's Mexican presidential election.
By Rick Docksai | Nov 20, 2018

Mexico's voters took a dramatic left turn Sunday, electing Andres "AMLO" Manuel Lopez Obrador to be their next president. Obrador won with a wider margin of votes than any presidential candidate in Mexican history, according to observers, who said that his victory marks a widespread public repudiation of the hitherto politically centrist, pro-globalization governing establishment in Mexico City.

This was Obrador's third presidential campaign, following two unsuccessful runs in 2006 and 2012. He lost in the first election to Felipe Calderon of the conservative National Action Party (PAN); and in 2012 to Enrique Nieto of the economically laissez-faire, politically centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

Obrador gained greater traction with the general public this time around with a populist campaign focused on pledging to root out corruption, jumpstart the economy, and roll out a slew of new programs to lift Mexicans out of poverty. He also vowed to cut his own salary, raise those of the lowest-paid government workers, and fund his anti-poverty initiatives by eliminating corruption and thereby saving tens of billions of dollars that he said corrupt politicians waste every year.

Obrador not only won, but won with more than half the vote, becoming the first candidate since Mexico's first democratic elections for the presidency 20 years ago to get more than 50% of the vote. Continuous political violence, political scandals, and economic stagnation had embittered many average Mexicans to the status quo, according to a diverse slate of left-leaning activists, conservatives, and religious groups who all endorsed Obrador over his conservative rivals.

"It is time for a change, it's time to go with Lpez Obrador, and see what happens," said Juan de Dios Rodrguez, 70, a farmer in the state of Hidalgo, a longtime bastion of the PRI. "This will be my first time voting for a different party."


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