Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador Poised to Win Mexico Election

   •    02 Juli 2018 11:06 WIB
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador Poised to Win Mexico Election
Leftist 'AMLO' favorite as Mexicans choose a new leader (Photo: AFP).

Mexico City: Mexicans were voting Sunday in general elections marked by deep anger over endemic corruption and brutal violence, with anti-establishment leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador looking poised to sweep to power.
Leading 49 percent in the polls, the sharp-tongued, silver-haired politician known as "AMLO" has successfully tapped voters' anger over a seemingly never-ending series of corruption scandals and horrific violence that included a record 25,000 murders last year -- an orgy of bloodshed fueled by the country's powerful drug cartels.
Lopez Obrador, who was first in line at his polling station in Mexico City's Tlalpan district, called the elections "historic."
"We represent the possibility of real change," he told hundreds of journalists crowded at the entrance.
"We are going to achieve a peaceful transformation, without violence. There is going to be an orderly but also deep change, because we are going to banish corruption, the main problem facing Mexico."
Many voters say they are sick of the two parties that have governed Mexico for nearly a century: the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the conservative National Action Party (PAN).
Lopez Obrador, 64, calls them both part of the same "mafia of power," a message that has resonated with many people -- even if the former Mexico City mayor has been vague on what the change he promises will look like.
Watching the huge crowd outside Lopez Obrador's polling station, 82-year-old Salvador Sanchez said the country was at a turning point.
"Everybody wants to see him. He's our new president," he told AFP.
"At last, a change. For the first time, history will be written on the side of the poor."
But Mexicans are deeply divided over the three-time presidential contender.
Gustavo Felix, 56, said he was just hoping Lopez Obrador's coalition -- led by his party, Morena -- would not win a majority in Congress.
"If they do, we're going to be living in a dictatorship," he said. (AFP)