Mexico: Voters Hand Lopez Obrador’s Party a Majority in Congress

Kawsachun News
Photo: Twitter / @mario_delgado

The preliminary count (PREP) conducted by Mexico’s electoral authority gave President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s party MORENA, together with its coalition parties, control of the lower house of Congress but fell short of securing a supermajority.

The estimate by the National Electoral Institute (INE) gave the coalition of MORENA, Partido del Trabajo (PT), and Verde, between 265 and 292 seats of 500 in the lower house, but the ruling party alone received between 34.9% and 35.8% of the vote.

Mexico held the largest election in its history, with voters choosing all 500 representatives in the Chamber of Deputies, as well as Governors in 15 states, representatives for 30 local legislatures, and 1,200 other posts.

The election was largely seen as a referendum on President López Obrador, a leftist who won the presidency three years ago after his third campaign. AMLO, as the President is commonly known, has made the fight against corruption a center-piece of his administration and focused on implementing social programs for the country’s students, seniors, Indigenous communities, and other low-income people. The Mexican President has also pushed for the recovery of the state oil company PEMEX as part of his effort to recover energy sovereignty and redistribute the country’s wealth.

Mexico’s opposition parties opted to run on a joint ticket in most states and largely centered its campaign trying to convince voters to grant them a majority in the lower house but failed in its effort to win enough support to impede the President’s agenda in Congress.

The effort to bring the country’s opposition parties together was led by business magnate Claudio X. González, a fierce opponent of President López Obrador, who criticized the funding provided by the United States to NGOs associated with the opposition figure.

According to exit polls, MORENA is also leading in 10 races for governor.

Sunday’s results showed that voter’s preferences appeared to shift little since the 2018 election and with control of Congress, AMLO—who cannot run for reelection due to term limits—will have the support of the legislature throughout the remainder of his term, which ends in 2024.