The New Mexican Presidential Inauguration, pledges transformation of nation

On Saturday, December 1, five months to the day after his thumping electoral victory, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO, as he is known for short) will take the oath of office at the San Lázaro Legislative Palace in Mexico City to become the president of Mexico for a six-year term. His ascent to power is historic by any measure: at a time when the Latin American Pink Tide is recedingvertiginously from the historical shore, AMLO led his fledgling party Morena — founded only in 2014 — to a crushing landslide, defeating his closest rival by some thirty percentage points. In contrast to his previous presidential bids, where his support was concentrated in the center and south, AMLO swept thirty-one of Mexico’s thirty-two states, including the entire border area and even the industrial center of Nuevo León. In Congress, Morena holds an absolute majority in the lower House of Deputies and, together with its coalition partners, a comfortable margin in the Senate, as well.

From a historical perspective, AMLO’s electoral achievement stands out as even more remarkable. After seventy-one years of the post-revolution “perfect dictatorship” of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the failed democratic transition of 2000, and the docena trágica (tragic dozen) years of rule by the conservative National Action Party followed by a one-term return to the PRI, the 2018 Morena landslide marks the first time a progressive party has won the presidency in modern political history, the first time it has won the Congress — and, needless to say, the first time it has done both together. In a system where a disproportionate amount of power remains concentrated in the presidency, AMLO’s triumph would appear, at first glance, to be total.

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