Monday, 2 July 2018
Lopez Obrador scores landslide victory as Mexico votes for change
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has declared victory in Mexico's presidential election, as preliminary results showed the leftist veteran politician, who had presented himself as an agent of change, secured a landslide win. President-elect Lopez Obrador is estimated to have received over 53% of the vote, more than double the total of his closest rival, according to the country's electoral commission.
"Today, they have recognized our victory," Lopez Obrador, known by his initials AMLO, told a crowd of jubilant supporters at an event in Mexico City late Sunday local time.
President Enrique Peña Nieto called Lopez Obrador shortly beforehand to congratulate him and pledged to help him carry out an orderly transition. Lopez Obrador will formally take power on December 1.
Lopez Obrador had dominated the polls in the run up to Sunday's vote, at times holding a 20-point lead over his rivals. Within two hours of polls closing, three of his main rivals had conceded defeat.
In his speech to supporters, the President-elect said he would forge a new relationship with the US "rooted in mutual respect and in defense of our migrant countrymen who work and live honestly in that country."
He added migration should be done by choice, not because of necessity, promising to "strengthen the internal market to try to produce in the country what we consume and so that Mexicans can work and be happy where they were born, where their family is, where their customs and their cultures are."
Lopez Obrador also promised to tackle violence and wipe out corruption, which he said was the "result of a political regime in decay."
"We are absolutely certain that this evil is the principle cause of social inequality and of economic inequality," he said. "Because of corruption, violence has erupted in our country."
He added that he will pursue a peace plan with representatives of the United Nations, human rights and religious organizations, to help tackle the murder rate, which soared to an all-time high under Peña Nieto, whom critics accused of failing to adequately deal with crime, corruption and economic inequality.