Mexicans vote in midterm elections, considered presidential referendum


Mexico City-Mexicos head to vote on Sunday to vote for the new House of Representatives, parliamentary and local councilors, referendum on President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s policies and efforts to shake Mexico’s system Was considered.

All 500 seats in the House of Representatives, 15 Governor, and thousands of local leader positions are available, with approximately 93.5 million Mexicans eligible to vote.

The elections were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the introduction of vaccines, and record criminal violence, and security consultant Etellekt said 91 politicians were killed in this election cycle.

Since taking office in 2018 after a landslide victory, Lopez Obrador has expanded the state’s role in the energy industry, significantly reducing government costs and devoting resources to the poor and his priority infrastructure projects. I have distributed it.

In the process, he eroded institutional checks and balances, frequently criticized self-governing bodies, including the Bank of Mexico, and urged critics to warn critics about the centralization of dangerous powers.

Voters tend to criticize his government’s track record in job creation and the fight against crime, but he was a former ruler of Mexico and is now opposed. Lopez Obrador also benefits from the deployment of the vaccine. Have received.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador attends the 108th anniversary of the loyalty march in Mexico City
Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is known as the “March of Loyalty” after facing a new coronavirus infection (COVID-19) infection at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City on February 9. Attended the 108th Anniversary of a Great Military Achievement. 2021. (Edgard Garrido / File Photo / Reuters)

Recent polls suggest that his National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) may lose some of the current 253 seats in the House of Representatives, but with the help of the Greens and Labor, it still holds the majority. It is likely to be maintained. The Senate is not running for election.

Its support partially reflects dissatisfaction with the old political parties. To be on top in the long run, MORENA must improve its economic record, officials, lawmakers and voters say.

At least one survey points out that there is fierce competition with three opposition parties: the centre-right National Action Party (PAN), the centre-right Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRI), and the centre-left Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD). Has been done. The election alliance has bitten into a MORENA-led coalition.

The president’s name isn’t on the ballot, but a big win could “Lopez Obrador promote interventionist policies and open the door to constitutional amendment,” said a Latin American economist at Capital Economics. Said Nikil Sangani.

Mr. Sangani said the president is likely to deepen state-centric policies, especially in the energy sector, for the remaining three-year term.

Lopez Obrador has made it a top priority to withdraw the opening of its predecessor’s energy sector, supporting state-owned oil company Petrolios Mexicanos (Pemex) and state-owned power company Commission Federal de Electridado (CFE). Often damaged private companies.

    Mexican election box
National Guards watch the arrival of a car carrying a polling place and election box ahead of the midterm elections in Nahuazen, Mexico, on June 5, 2021. (Alan Ortega / Reuters)

Washington-based Wilson Center’s Duncan Wood describes his administration as a “fourth change,” and Lopez Obrador wants to leave a lasting mark on Mexico’s political situation. Said.

“Leaving a lasting legacy means changing the Constitution, because if you change the Constitution, it will be much harder for the government that follows you to undo it.” Government and federal governments in.

Lopez Obrador shows that the core of the legislative agenda has already been implemented and states that only a few major issues are pending towards the second half of the administration. ..

By law, Lopez Obrador can only serve one term, accelerating “the president’s advocacy of structural economic and social change” and paving the way for amicable political succession in 2024. To do this, you need to maintain or expand the majority in the House of Representatives. Albert Ramos, an economist at Goldman Sachs, said:

Former President Felipe Calderon, a longtime adversary of Lopez Obrador, said Mexicans were choosing between “democracy and dictatorship” in the campaign for Sunday’s elections.

Elections in Mexico
Members of police and National Guard guarding National Election Institute (INE) personnel carrying ballots distributed to polling stations prior to the midterm elections in Nahuazen, Mexico on June 5, 2021. (Alan Ortega / Reuters)

Lopez Obrador has repeatedly rejected proposals that could turn Mexico into a dictatorship.

Calderon, who ruled Mexico for the centre-right PAN from 2006 to 2012, said the left-wing administration of Lopez Obrador had little consideration of the constitution or the law.

“If we don’t stop this, we’ll go directly to somewhere in Venezuela,” he said in an online debate in May.

Lopez Obrador often accuses Calderon of robbing him of his presidency in 2006 and plunders him as part of a corrupt political system.

A ballot box defeat for Morena and her allies is unlikely, but creating a new check on Lopez Obrador’s power will help keep Lopez Obrador in check.

However, it can also cause repulsion.

“It can also elicit the fighting spirit of Lopez Obrador, leading to legal challenges to results, anti-business rhetoric, and increased political polarization,” said managing director of consultancy Teneo. Nicholas Watson says.

Anthony Esposito

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