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Mexico's President-Elect: 'I Won't Betray the People'

Leftist leader wants 'friendship and respect' with the US
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2018 6:27 AM CDT
Updated Jul 2, 2018 6:54 AM CDT
Mexico's Next President Thinks Trump Is 'Erratic'
Supporters of presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador celebrate his victory in Mexico City's main square, the Zocalo, Monday, July 2, 2018.   (AP Photo/Emilio Espejel)

(Newser) – Mexico has a new president-elect—and, like many of his countrymen, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is not a big fan of President Trump. The populist leftist leader has denounced the American president as "erratic and arrogant" and published a book last year called "Oye Trump"—"Listen Up, Trump"—in which he called for rights for migrants, the Washington Post reports. Like current president Enrique Pena Nieto, he seems highly unlikely to pay for Trump's proposed border wall. "The wall and the demagoguery of patriotism are no match for the dignity and humanity of the American people," he said at a rally in Los Angeles last year. Lopez Obrador, who was congratulated by Trump on the win, told supporters Sunday that he wanted a relationship with the US of "friendship and respect." In other coverage:

  • Upending the status quo. The New York Times looks at how Lopez Obrador's election upends the status quo in Mexico, where two parties had dominated since the end of one-party rule in 2000. With voters rejecting the centrist PRI and the conservative PAN amid widespread populist anger at corruption and violence, both parties face an uncertain future.

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  • Mexico celebrates. As jubilant crowds gathered in Mexico City's main plaza and supporters waved flags from cars, Lopez Obrador vowed that he wouldn't let down the millions of Mexicans who voted for him, the Guardian reports. "I will govern with rectitude and justice. I will not fail you. I will not disappoint you. I won't betray the people," he said.
  • Profound changes. Lopez Obrador promised that there would be no confiscation or expropriation of assets and said his main priority will be eradicating corruption, the AP reports. "This new national project will seek to establish an authentic democracy and we do not intend to establish a dictatorship," he said. "The changes will be profound, but in accordance with established order."
  • Who is AMLO? CNN profiles the leader, popularly knows as AMLO for his initials. This is the 64-year-old former Mexico City mayor's third attempt to win the presidency. He will take office on Dec. 1.

  • A landslide victory. Electoral authorities forecast that Lopez Obrador would receive around 53% of the vote, a massive winning margin not seen in Mexico for decades, CBS News reports. His Morena party did extremely well in other votes, possibly well enough to have an absolute majority in the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies.
  • A long to-do list. The BBC looks at the massive job Lopez Obrador has in front of him. Beyond dealing with violence and corruption, the president-elect has also pledged to tackle inequality, boost the country's economy—and rebuild relations with the US.
  • His policies. Carrie Khan at NPR sums up the leader's policies: He "says he's going to cut the perks and corruption from the top and give that money and savings to the bottom—raising salaries, pensions for the elderly, scholarships for the young."
  • "The people are fed up." Retired teacher Susana Zuniga says the feeling is similar to the Mexican Revolution early last century. "The people are fed up. That is what brought us to this," she tells the AP.
(Read more Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador stories.)

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