Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has swept to victory in the Mexican presidential elections.
The left winger’s win has devastated the bosses’ Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). He took 53.7 percent of the vote.
His Movement for National Reconstruction party has also won other key electoral contests, including the mayoralty of the capital, Mexico City.
The result is all the more remarkable given the forces standing against Lopez Obrador and his allies. The election campaign was marked by violence, with candidates being gunned down.
The elections saw 138 candidates killed across Mexico. And polling day added Flora Resendiz Gonzalez, an activist for the Workers Party (PT), to the list after she was assassinated in her home.
Bosses also sent letters to workers warning of job losses if Lopez Obrador won.
He campaigned on a platform of redistributing wealth and ending corruption.
And his opponents made it easy. The PRI has been embroiled in corruption scandals for years. PT candidates won 75 seats in the parliament—almost double the PRI’s 47.
Some 89 million people were eligible to vote—and 13 million of these for the first time.
Lopez Obrador is thought to have benefited particularly from this influx of young new voters.
Now the fight is on to see what Lopez Obrador’s promise of change means and if he can live up to the hopes of those who voted for him.
“I have supported him for so long because I believe in him, because the government we have is rotten,” said voter Maria del Carmen Munoz.
She also supported Lopez Obrador during his previous two presidential bids.
Others were more guarded in their enthusiasm. “He won’t resolve everything like he promises,” said civil servant Evelyn Correa. “But we’ve tried the other parties. Hopefully he’s different.”
Lopez Obrador has been careful to assuage the fears of both Mexican bosses and the US foreign policy hawks. He has attacked cartels and corruption while appealing to bosses to rediscover their morality and social consciences.
Donald Trump tweeted his congratulations to Lopez Obrador, “Congratulations to Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on becoming the next President of Mexico. I look very much forward to working with him.
“There is much to be done that will benefit both the United States and Mexico!”
Lopez Obrador shied away from confronting Trump in his victory speech. Instead he said Mexico’s relationship with the US would now be “rooted in mutual respect and in defence of our migrant countrymen who work and live honestly in that country”.
The “honestly” is important. It could indicate an agreement with the White House over its savage treatment of undocumented migrants.