Trump congratulates Mexico’s Lopez Obrador

Trump congratulates Mexico’s Lopez Obrador

Sixty-four-year-old leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who got his start in Mexican politics decades ago as an advocate for indigenous rights, has won the country's presidential election.

The peso was down 1.5% to 20.1568 versus the U.S. dollar at 9:30 a.m. ET after preliminary results from Mexico's electoral commission showed Lopez Obrador sweeping up more than half the vote. Under AMLO, it seems nearly impossible that Mexico will permit the direct operations of US law enforcement agencies in Mexican territory, or allow for the same type of intelligence and information sharing that had come to prevail under the previous PAN and PRI administrations.

But despite the landslide, Lopez Obrador has not strayed from guidance he offered before the election, and on Tuesday he repeated his pledge to maintain fiscal discipline. That compares to 26.1 percent for former speaker of Congress and PAN candidate Ricardo Anaya and 20.8 percent for ex-finance minister Jose Antonio Meade of the PRI party.

Speaking to reporters after his win, Lopez Obrador identified corruption as the "principal cause" of inequality and the criminal violence that has bedeviled Mexico for years, and said he would spare no one in his commitment to root it out. "I recognize his victory, I have already talked to him and wish hum success in the work for the benefit of Mexico", Anaya said. The effort, she said, would help reintegrate into society some of the estimated 600,000 Mexicans employed by drug cartels.

But on Monday, Lopez Obrador told Milenio TV Mexico will seek to remain in NAFTA and that he respects the existing Mexican team renegotiating the trade pact. He called the election "historic".

Lopez Obrador will take office in December facing a USA government that has been openly antagonistic to Mexico over trade and migration under President Donald Trump.

But the prospect of Lopez Obrador rattled markets leading up to the election.


In his account, Lopez Obrador did not mention trade, and Trump gave no further details on a possible trade pact.

In the wake of the migration crisis on the US-Mexico border, Amlo has vowed that "anyone who migrates from Mexico will do so because they want to, not because they have to".

The left-wing Lopez Obrador, the former mayor of Mexico City, won more than half the election's votes on Sunday and will be inaugurated December 1.

Officials estimated voter turnout at 63 percent among the 89 million people who were eligible to vote in Mexico's biggest-ever elections. In his first loss - by a mere 0.56 percent to conservative Felipe Calderon in 2006 - his supporters held months-long protests in Mexico City and he referred to himself as "the legitimate president".

This worries some Mexicans, who see Lopez Obrador as unpredictable, prone to outbursts of emotion and quick to change his mind on issues.

Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto addresses the media after casting his ballot at a polling station during the presidential election in Mexico City, Mexico July 1, 2018.

"It's worth cautioning that we still have little clarity on Amlo's economic policies", said Edward Glossop, an economist at Capital Economics. But Duncan also said that many people are unsure of how Lopez Obrador will be able to provide what he has promised.

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