MEXICO CITY — He has survived a devastating coronavirus pandemic, an financial smash and a staggering homicide charge — and remained one in every of Latin The us’s most traditional leaders. But on Sunday, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador faced perhaps his greatest test yet, in midterm elections that are serious for his plans to reshape Mexico.
The greatest prize turned into once the lower dwelling of Congress, the place apart López Obrador and his allies hope to maintain their supermajority. Moreover up for grabs had been virtually half of the country’s 32 governorships and thousands of positions in native authorities. It turned into once Mexico’s greatest election ever, thanks to an overhaul that moved balloting for quite quite a bit of posts to the same year.
The results might perhaps well determine whether the president’s nationalist, anti-institution depart dominates Mexican politics previous his six-year term. An exit poll by the each day El Financiero indicated that López Obrador’s social gathering, Morena, would obtain about 40 percent of the vote in the lower dwelling of Congress, akin to its spend in 2018, when López Obrador triumphed in a landslide. The announcement of official results, expected Monday, will perhaps usher in a period of horse-trading as occasions gaze to strengthen their voting blocs.
Lorenzo Córdova, head of the Nationwide Electoral Institute, said there had been “large participation” in Sunday’s elections.
López Obrador’s opponents pain he needs to steer this country — the No. 1 U.S. trading accomplice — attend in direction of the kind of 1-social gathering authoritarian diagram that prevailed for quite quite a bit of of the 20th century. They compare him to populists corresponding to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Salvadoran leader Nayib Bukele, who obtain demonized critics and rebuffed challenges to their authority by the judiciary.
López Obrador’s non-public glimpse of the election will not be any less stark. He portrays his efforts to diminish poverty and graft as a “transformation” that might perhaps finish free-market policies that entrenched deep inequality. “We don’t are looking to return to that regime of corruption, of injustice, of privileges” for the well-off, he said.
After the 2018 election, Morena fashioned a coalition with smaller occasions to govern extra than two-thirds of the votes in the lower chamber of Congress. The governing social gathering wasn’t ready to assemble a an identical supermajority in the Senate, nevertheless.
“There must be counterweights,” said Inés Candano, 26, a lawyer in Mexico Metropolis’s well-to-operate Polanco neighborhood who voted for an opposition coalition. “In any presidency, one particular person wouldn’t obtain loads energy.”
Even supposing Morena had been to lose some seats, it perhaps would remain Mexico’s greatest social gathering. Created by López Obrador in 2014, it draws energy from his recognition, at the 2d about 60 percent.
Alejandro Moreno, a pollster for El Financiero, says his approval ratings think Mexicans’ affection for their folksy, plain-spoken leader, rather than his policies. “After we watch at indications of performance, esteem how the authorities is doing in handling the financial system or crime or corruption, he will get very scandalous numbers,” he said.
Daniel Martínez, 35, who turned into once selling sandwiches in Iztapalapa, a low-income borough of the capital, said he backed Morena in section because he identified with the president. López Obrador “comes from the ‘pueblo’ too,” he said. “He worries about us.”
Martinez said his household benefited from a authorities stipend for buying meals and school offers. Such social packages reduction explain why López Obrador remains a “Teflon president,” said another pollster, Jorge Buendía. And quite quite a bit of Mexicans don’t blame him for the coronavirus disaster because it turned into once a world phenomenon.
There’s another distinguished ingredient, says Federico Estévez, a political scientist at the Self sustaining Technological Institute of Mexico. “This has been an incredibly incompetent authorities,” he said. “But the opposition is even extra incompetent.”
Mexico’s passe occasions had been discredited by corruption and their failure to lift solid financial increase or decrease violence tied to organized crime.
The president hasn’t proved to be the radical leftist that some of his opponents feared. López Obrador has tremendously scale again the kinds, expanded the role of the military and pushed for a stronger authorities presence in the vitality sector. He has supported free commerce and defended a balanced budget.
López Obrador has pledged to admire Mexico’s ban on presidential reelection. But Luis Rubio, president of the think tank México Evalúa, informed Uno TV the action generated mighty uncertainty. “As soon as he broke the institutional framework, we entered a surely diverse generation,” he said.