Published On: Tue, Jul 10th, 2018

OPINION: Third Time’s the Charm – AMLO Wins the Mexican Presidency

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On July 1st, Mexico held its presidential election.  And the winner – with a clear majority – was Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, known as AMLO, an acronym formed by his initials.

To win a Mexican presidential election, a majority is not necessary, a candidate need only have more votes than any other candidate. But AMLO won with 53%, a clear majority.

Not only that, but AMLO won in the Federal District (Mexico City) and in 30 of 31 of the states of Mexico.  (The only exception was the state of Guanajuato.)

In his two previous runs for the presidency, in 2006 and 2012, AMLO ran as the candidate of the PRD (Party of the Democratic Revolution).  This time AMLO ran as the candidate of the party he established, MORENA, the National Regeneration Movement.  MORENA was only registered as a party in 2014, although it had existed since 2011 as an organization.  In this election, MORENA won more votes than any other party.

Not only the presidency was at stake, but the Mexican Congress as well.  And MORENA and its allies won a majority in the Congress.

The older, established parties, the PRI, PAN and PRD, were trounced.  Thus, MORENA’s victory is drawing an entire new landscape in Mexican politics.

All in all, it was an impressive victory for AMLO.  The question is, what kind of president will he be?  AMLO’S six-year term begins on December 1st.

I’m sending this column from Mexico. My wife and son and I arrived June 30th, so my wife could vote on July 1st.

I accompanied her to the polls, and as usual was impressed with the Mexican photo voter ID system.  We ought to copy that in the United States, where many states have rather ramshackle voter registration systems.

Each Mexican voter has a photo voter ID card issued by the Mexican government.  In the polling station, election officials and party representatives have books with the photos of every single voter in the precinct.

So, the voter enters, shows his ID to an election official who checks the photo in the book.  The voter’s name is called out so the party representatives can make a mark in their books.  And the voter gets a smudge of ink on their thumb to show he or she voted. (It wears off in a few days.)

I think it’s a great system, and we should adopt it north of the border.

There is much to discuss regarding the 2018 Mexican presidential election.

Let’s look at the four candidates, their parties, their seemingly crazy-quilt coalitions, and their final percentages in the presidential vote.

There are nine registered national parties in Mexico and, in this election, they ran in three coalitions of three parties each, plus there was an independent candidate.

Why so many parties?

Well, for one thing, running a political party in Mexico can be quite profitable.  The parties are mostly government funded.  But in order to maintain its registry, and thus its funding, a party must receive at least 3% of the vote.

Third Time’s the Charm – AMLO Wins the Mexican Presidency

The four candidates running in the election were:

  • JAIME HELIODORO RODRIGUEZ CALDERON, better known as “El Bronco.”Although formerly of the PRI, Bronco became an independent, and ran in this election as an independent.
  • JOSE ANTONIO MEADE KURIBREÑA of the PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional), the party of current President Peña Nieto.The PRI ran in coalition with two smaller parties, the Green Party (Partido Verde Ecologista de México) and the Partido Nueva Alianza, the PNA or PANAL.  PANAL was founded by the SNTE teachers’ union, and it appears they copied the party’s logo from that of the now-defunct Alliance Party of Canada.  Look here and hereand see what you think.  The official name of Meade’s coalition was Todos por México(Everybody for Mexico).
  • RICARDO ANAYA CORTES of the PAN (Partido Acción Nacional) ran in coalition with the leftist PRD (Partido de la Revolución Democrática) and the smaller social democraticMovimiento Ciudadano(Citizen Movement). Note that the PRD was AMLO’s party in 2006 and 2012.  This coalition was called Por México al Frente (For Mexico to the Front).
  • ANDRES MANUEL LOPEZ OBRADOR (AMLO) is the candidate of the party he himself founded, MORENA (Movimiento Regeneración Nacional).MORENA’s two smaller coalition parties were the Partido del Trabajo, Labor Party (PT), founded by Mexican Maoists(!), and PES (Partido Encuentro Social), an Evangelical Protestant social conservative party.  The official name of the coalition was Juntos Haremos Historia (Together We Will Make History).

RESULTS: Here is how the presidential election turned out. (Source: INE, Instituto Nacional Electoral, Mexico’s Electoral Commission)

  • TOTAL VOTES – 56,611,027
  • NULL VOTES – 1,571,114 (2.7751% of the total)
  • UNREGISTERED CANDIDATES – 31,982 votes (0.0564% of the total)
  • MARGARITA ZAVALA (dropped out, but still on the ballot) – 32,743 votes (0.0578% of the total)
  • BRONCO – 2,961,732 votes (5.2317% of the total)
  • MEADE – 9,289,853 votes (16.4099% of the total)
  • ANAYA – 12,610,120 votes (22.2750% of the total)
  • AMLO – 30,113,483 votes (53.1936% of the total)

By Allan Walll

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Allan Wall, an educator, resided in Mexico for many years.  His website is located at http://www.allanwall.info

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