August 5, 2021

In Mexico, the “for or against AMLO” is played at the ballot box

“The transformation of the country is unstoppable”, insists the Mexican President, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (“AMLO”), a few days before the legislative and local mega-elections on Sunday 6 June. The future of his ambitious reform agenda is playing out in Congress. His National Regeneration Movement (Morena, center left) is given the winner. But his victory could be tight against the unprecedented bloc formed by the opposition against him, summing up the mid-term election to a virulent “for or against AMLO”.

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It is the largest ballot in the history of this Federal Republic: the 500 terms of deputy, the composition of 30 regional congresses, the positions of 15 of the 31 governors, and nearly 2,000 municipal functions are at stake. Two major functions are at stake. coalitions clash. Morena, alongside the Labor Party (PT) and the Green Ecologist Party (PVEM), faces a broad opposition alliance, including even the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD, left), the former formation of AMLO. “Morena seeks to keep her majority in Congress, her adversaries to prevent her”, explains Ricardo Uvalle, political scientist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

The Morena party, favorite of the election

Since its triumphant victory in the 2018 presidential election (53% of the vote), AMLO has been leading its “Fourth transformation of Mexico”, after independence in 1810, the reform (from 1858 to 1961, establishing secularism) and the revolution of 1910. In two and a half years, Morena and his allies, majority in Congress, voted a series of reforms: education and health free, apprenticeship grants, universal pensions, strengthening of justice, support for the public energy sector, etc.

“This is the first time that the opposition has united in a pragmatic logic of all against AMLO” Ricardo Uvalle, political scientist

“It’s a change of regime”, repeats AMLO, who promised a break with the clientelist and corrupt system, established for seventy-one years by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI, center) until 2000, then maintained by the political alternation of the National Action Party (PAN, right), before the return to power of the PRI from 2012 to 2018. AMLO wishes to break with “Disastrous neoliberal policies” which have accentuated inequalities, in a country where half the population is poor. Blamed by the reforming president, the PAN and the PRI joined forces with the PRD against him. “This is the first time that the opposition has united in a pragmatic logic of all against AMLO”, notes M. Uvalle.

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