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Mexico 2018 Presidential Election

Newly elected Andrs Manuel Lpez Obrador has become the first leftist president of Mexico since the end of one-party rule in 2000. Lpez Obrador said he would pursue friend and foe alike in a crackdown on corruption after voters handed him a strong mandate for a government with a landslide election victory. Lpez Obrador, won between 53 and 53.8 percent of votes, according to a quick count by the electoral authority, more than double the total for his nearest rival. That would be the most significant share of the vote since the early 1980s and would give Lpez Obrador a platform both to address Mexico's internal problems and face external challenges like the threat of a trade war with the United States.

AMLO's Movement for National Regeneration (MORENA) prevailed in legislative elections, making Lopez Obrador the first Mexican president since 1997 to enjoy a legislative majority. MORENA joined with the Labor Party and the conservative Social Encounter Party to form the Together We Will Make History coalition: It held 303 of 500 seats in the lower house of the federal Congress and 70 of 128 seats in the Senate. In addition, the coalition claimed the governors house in four states, the mayors office in Mexico City, and congressional majorities in 12 states and many local offices.

Mexico's socio-political arena may be considered exceptional, especially being so far from God, so close to the United States, some say. Geopolitical analyst Andrew Korybko wrote in The Duran, Donald Trump is inspiring a new generation of Mexican nationalists.

Mexico has seen a huge spike in violence, especially against politicians and journalists. More than 500 politicians have been attacked since campaigning began last September. At least 130 had been killed. Government statistics show there have already been more than 20,000 homicides so far this year.

After more than 80 years dominating Mexico's political scenario, the Revolutionary Institutional Party and the National Action Party (known together as PRIAN by the opposition) were finally dying out in their present form and paving the way for a new political organization known as the National Renewal Movement (Morena), founded by the country's new hope: Andres Manuel Lopez Obrado.

Mexican leftist leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (nicknamed AMLO) topped a July 2015 poll released by Reforma newspaper Sunday with 42 percent support, leading his nearest rival by 14 points. Lopez Obrador, head of the upstart Morena party, had twice run for president under the banner of the left-leaning Party of the Democratic Revolution, known as the PRD.

In second place in the poll was former First Lady Margarita Zavala, with 28 percent support. Manlio Fabio Beltrones, of the ruling centrist PRI, obtained 22 percent support. Miguel Angel Mancera, the current PRD mayor of Mexico City, considered the second-most important political post in Mexico, obtained 25 percent support. The PRD, along other mainstream Mexican political parties, endured a loss a credibility as a result of scandals linking the Mexican political class to organized crime groups.

By April 2016 the president's approval in the poll for daily newspaper Reforma fell to 30 percent, compared to 39 percent in December 2015, while 66 percent of respondents said they disapproved of Pena Nieto's job performance. Both figures marked a historic low for any Mexican president going back at least two decades in a Reforma poll, the newspaper said. Pena Nieto's support had been mainly driven down by public disapproval over corruption and his handling of efforts to combat poverty and lift the economy, the poll said. The ruling party was tarnished by a a number of conflict-of-interest scandals embroiling Pena Nieto, his wife and finance minister, slower-than-expected economic growth, and grisly drug violence.

A poll published 06 July 2016 by Buendia & Laredo, surveyed voters on how they would vote if the next election, scheduled for 2018, were held now. The survey found 24 percent of respondents would vote for the center-right National Action Party, versus 20 percent who would opt for the PRI, led by President Enrique Pena Nieto, who is constitutionally barred from re-election. Morena, the left-leaning party of two-time presidential runner-up Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, was in third place, with the support of 17 percent of respondents. Lopez Obrador's former party, the Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, traditionally the main leftist force in Mexican politics, had only 6 percent support.

Though political reforms had shortened the length of the formal campaigns (which didnt commence until early 2018 ), and placed some restrictions on media access by the political parties, by late 2016 for all intents and purposes the 2018 race was already in the go mode. More than a year and a half before Mexicans go to the polls, a dozen possible successors to Enrique Pena Nieto are the focus of voter surveys, public and private meetings and increased media attention. At least two of the potential presidential contestants could be women, though the candidacy of one of them has yet to be decided.

Mexican voters, indeed, Mexicans in general, were fed up by the constant flow of insults, increased deportations and great wall-building head of state to the north. The result, leftist nationalist and former Mexico City Mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, simply known as AMLO, topped several 2018 presidential polls. His numbers were steadily rising. In Mexico, dissatisfaction with the current president, Enrique Pena Nieto, as well as rampant corruption and impunity for countless murders and other capital offences favored a left-wing populist.

This time, though, AMLO's chances are good. After all, he was standing against a rather implausible alliance of the Christian and Social Democrats with the grassroots movement on the one hand, and on the other against the former Foreign and Finance Minister Jose Antonio Meade, the candidate for the PRI party, which usually holds the presidential office. Many voters will probably hold Meade responsible for the shambles that is all that remains of Pena Nietos ambitious 2012 "Pact for Mexico" that was supposed to make the economy and the political system more democratic, as well as expand social rights.

Unlike his failed presidential runs in 2006 and 2012, the 2018 election seem far more promising for AMLO, so much so that some investment banks, according to Foreign Policy, have already started to place their chips against the peso. Just some of the issues to deal with include white-collar corruption, the killing of women, activists, journalists and others and stemming Mexican cartels that are fueled by the U.S. war on drugs. No economic or environmental progress can mask the brutal daily violence that continues to go unpunished in Mexico. However, it is questionable whether distributional policy without economic growth would improve the situation.

The next contender may be rightwing Ricardo Anaya, candidate for the odd coalition of the conservative Partido Accion Nacional (PAN National Action Party) that formed government twice with Vicente Fox (2000) and Felipe Calderon (2006) and the leftist Partido de la Revolucin Democrtica (PRD Party of the Democratic Revolution).

There are no socialist parties candidates because parties like the Communist Party of Mexico or the Workers Revolutionary Party are not officially registered and therefore do not take part in the elections.

Mexican Presidential hopeful Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), widened his lead over his rivals in a new poll published by Mitofsky 23 March 2018. Support for AMLO, the former leftist mayor of Mexico City, increased by 2.4 percentage points, going from 27.1 percent in February to 29.5 percent in March. At the same time, his two main rivals, Ricardo Anaya of the National Action Party (PAN) and Jose Antonio Meade of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) saw their favorability rating decrease by 1.1 and 1.6 percentage points respectively. AMLO, who was running for Mexicos presidency for the third time, was regarded as a strong anti-corruption candidate. However, business sectors are wary of his economic policies.

Anaya is second in the polls with 21.2 percent support. His candidacy has been faltering due to corruptions allegations and the fact that he is currently under investigation by Mexicos Attorney Generals office. The federal investigation is connected to the sale of property by Anaya, which involved a shell company and illicit money. Anayas party, the PAN, has denied the claims and accused current president Pea Nieto of using state institutions to hurt Anayas campaign. An accusation the Attorney Generals office rejected, arguing the investigation started in October after a complaint was filed. The scandal surrounding Anaya, however, has not boosted the ruling party's candidate, Meade, who is currently ranked third in the polls with 16.4 percent, as his party is involved in corruption and associated with lawlessness.

Margarita Zavala, a former first lady, and a right-wing independent candidate finished in fourth place with 4.8 percent of respondents favoring her. After two other independent candidates, Jaime Rodriguez and Armando Rios Piter, were disqualified over fake signatures supporting their candidacy she is the only independent contesting the July 1 elections.

Independent Mexican presidential candidate Jaime Rodriguez will be on the ballot for July's vote, Mexico's electoral regulator said on 10 April 2018, weeks after he was dramatically excluded for not reaching the required number of signatures. Mexico's election watchdog INE said that its board would follow a court order forcing it to reinstate the on-leave Nuevo Leon governor, making him the second confirmed independent candidate. Armando Rios Piter was left off the ticket for the same reason.

More than half the signatures Rodriguez collected were declared invalid, meaning he fell 16,656 signatures short of the required number. Mexico's electoral tribunal ordered INE to put Rodriguez back on the ballot, saying that his due process rights had been violated and that, had all his invalid signatures been double-checked, he might have hit the required total. Fellow independent candidate Margarita Zavala said that she was worried by the decision. "We can't have a system where deception and simulation are more powerful than the force to do good," she said via Twitter. Known in Mexico as 'El Bronco' due to his blunt style, the 60-year-old was the first independent governor in Mexico when he won the industrial state of Nuevo Leon, helped by extensive use of social networks.

Lopez Obrador is likely to become the first left-leaning President of Mexico since the presidency of President Lazaro Cardenas some 80 years ago. The majority of Mexicans seem to place their full faith in him, but some of his supporters say they are voting for him because he is the best option among a group of corrupt politicians that represent the continuation of a failed regime. For many, Lopez Obrador presents himself as something new, despite compromises with the old guard which he arguably needs to secure the presidency in a country like Mexico with a deep history of neoliberal discourse.

While PRIAN represents the continuation of the War on Drugs security policies, AMLO has proposed a different approach that is giving hope to many. Even though he has indeed proposed to increase the number of navy and military, he also proposes addressing the issues of the youth so they don't join organized crime, including better education opportunities and a monthly universal income. Regarding legalizing drugs in order to cut drug cartels income, he has said he will do a popular referendum to let Mexicans decide.



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