Credit to: Mexico’s New President Is a Leftist Who Despises Trump and Vowed to Slash His Own Salary in Half BY: LUKE DARBY
Throw in vows to fight violence and corruption, and you’ve got a winning combination.
On Sunday, Mexico held a historic presidential election: the leftist candidate Andres Manuel López Obrador won an outright majority of the vote, a rarity in Mexico’s multi-party system. López Obrador has vowed to cut his own salary in half, sell off presidential planes, and even turn the presidential palace into a public park. He’s even written a book about US-Mexico relations titled Oye Trump, or Listen Up, Trump. And as the Washington Post reports, he’s had firm words about Donald Trump and his administration:
He has compared President Trump and his inner circle’s comments about Mexicans to the way Nazis talked about Jews. He has called Trump “erratic and arrogant.” In a speech in Los Angeles last year, he said building a wall and using language to “insult, denigrate and discriminate” against certain populations “goes against humanity, it goes against intelligence and against history.”
But here’s the thing: López Obrador wasn’t the only one speaking out against Trump. That was actually pretty widespread among the presidential candidates. Those comments highlighted by the Post aren’t even uncommon talking points in the US. Trump is, not surprisingly, hugely unpopular in Mexico, but it was domestic issues—like corruption, which López Obrador has vowed to tackle—that reportedly took precedent for most voters.
Sunday’s election was also a tremendous rebuke of outgoing president Enrique Peña Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party. Known as PRI, the party ruled in Mexico for 71 years before being voted out in the early 2000s. The PRI returned to power in 2012, but as violence and corruption soared the public has once again turned against the party. Per CNN:
Lopez Obrador said the country’s infamous corruption was the “result of a political regime in decay.”
“We are absolutely certain that this evil is the principal cause of social inequality and of economic inequality,” he said. “Because of corruption, violence has erupted in our country.”
He said he will work with representatives of the United Nations, human rights groups and religious organizations to help tackle the murder rate, which soared to an all-time high under Peña Nieto’s tenure.
Even if Trump wasn’t a deciding factor in who won this election, his antagonism toward Mexico since the first day of his campaign has gone a long way to sweeping into power people who are extremely critical of the US and its role in destabilizing the Mexican economy. While López Obrador has said that he hopes for a relationship with the US that’s friendly but free of subordination, his election marks a turning point, especially now that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau going on the offensive in response to Trump’s trade war. While Trump had relatively warm words for the president-elect, he’s also famously volatile even with people he likes. And for someone as terrible at making deals as Donald Trump is, two potentially antagonistic neighbors is almost certainly more than he can handle.
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