Published: Mon, July 02, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador elected president of Mexico

Leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador elected president of Mexico

All had Lopez Obrador winning more than 40 percent of the vote in the single-round race, well ahead of his rivals. His message has remained largely consistent - eradicate corruption, invest in the poor, fight inequality - but got a warmer reception this year because of mounting frustration after a series of scandals in Pena Nieto's administration and the ever-growing drug-war violence.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has cast his vote in elections to choose his successor.

Lopez Obrador, commonly known by his initials, "AMLO, " was making his third bid for the country's highest office, having falling short in the 2006 and 2012 elections. The newly elected president has said he wants to make Mexico more economically independent of the United States.

Seeking to soothe, he has recruited a team of market-friendly advisers and backpedaled on his most controversial proposals, including reversing outgoing President Enrique Pena Nieto's landmark energy reform, which privatized the oil sector.

Sheinbaum was among the first politicians to leave Mexico's established left-wing party, the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), and join Lopez Obrador's breakaway, Morena, when he formally launched it in 2014.

It is the first time in Mexico's modern history a candidate has won more than half the vote in a competitive election, and a resounding rejection of the two parties that have governed the country for almost a century.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has issued a statement congratulating Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on his victory in Mexico's presidential election.

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"This is a historic day, and it will be a memorable night", Lopez Obrador said in a victory speech in Mexico City's Alameda park, as thousands of ecstatic supporters flooded the capital's central district, chanting "Yes we did!" and partying to mariachi music. "He's been able to capture the mantle of the person who's on the outside who wants change".

Lopez Obrador, who heads the National Regeneration Movement, or Morena, says he plans to cut government personnel and salaries and prevent funds from being squandered through corruption.

He also pledged to increase support payments for the elderly and to give scholarships or paid apprenticeships to young people. In recent decades, Mexico has been led by technocrats and pro-American politicians, while Lopez Obrador's role models are Mexican independence and revolutionary leaders who stood up to more powerful foreign countries.

Candidates Ricardo Anaya and Jose Antonio Meade both said they were expecting to be celebrating when polls close later Sunday.

How much heft Lopez Obrador can bring to bear both domestically and internationally will depend significantly on his control of Congress, where no party has held an outright majority since 1997. The election was the largest in the country's history, with roughly 3,000 seats up for grabs at the local, state, and national levels.

Sunday's vote was largely peaceful and electoral authorities reported only isolated incidents. Meade struggled during the campaign to escape discontent with the party, even though he was never a member until it tapped him as an "outsider" candidate.

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