López Obrador wins sweeping mandate in Mexican presidential election

Mexico’s leftist candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador is projected to win the country’s presidential election by a landslide. But given the massive wave of violence that continues to plague Mexico, he will face significant obstacles to deliver on his campaign promises to take on the country’s widespread corruption problems.

López Obrador, 64, is expected to win the election with around 53 percent of the vote, according to exit polls and a “quick count” of the ballots. Before the election, he had already been leading the polls ahead of his three rivals for months. And all three of his rivals have already conceded.

“I call on all Mexicans to reconciliation, and to put above their personal interests, however legitimate, the greater interest, the general interest,” López Obrador said during his acceptance speech Sunday night, according to the New York Times. “The state will cease to be a committee at the service of a minority and will represent all Mexicans, rich and poor, those who live in the country and in the city, migrants, believers and nonbelievers, to people of all philosophies and sexual preferences.”

Mexican voters also elected over 3,400 political seats at the local, state, and federal level. They voted for a new national Congress, including 128 Senate seats and 500 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, Mexico’s lower house.

López Obrador, who is commonly referred to by his initials AMLO, leads the newly formed Morena party; he’s promised to enact policies to address inequality and the recent spike in violence in the country. Among other things, he’s promised to increase spending on social programs to expand pensions for the elderly and grants for students.

If his party and its coalition partners win a majority in Congress, he could wield even more power.

Given his nationalist position, it’s uncertain how he’ll affect the potential renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which President Donald Trump has been critical of recently. That basically means that if Trump ceases NAFTA, López Obrador may not fight to keep the agreement.

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