Mexico went to the polls Sunday in a national election that could mark a sharp change in the political direction of Latin America’s second-largest economy. For many, this is a disappointing moment: the incumbent President enrique pernia, Mr (EnriquePenaNieto) and his right-wing institutional revolutionary party (PRI), which was very unpopular party dominated Mexico in the past 90 years, 77.
Mr Nieto’s favourite replacement is AndresManuelLopezObrador, a populist who was Mexico’s most left-wing leader in the 1980s. His victory would constitute a major upheaval in a country now grappling with unprecedented levels of violence, corruption and inequality. It will also set the stage for a confrontation between two fierce nationalist populists, US President Donald trump on the other side of Rio grande.
With so many interests at stake, the campaign was remarkable. Since September 2017, 132 politicians, including 48 candidates, have been murdered by violent groups and criminal groups seeking to control local politics.
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But Mexico’s youth is mobilising on an unprecedented scale. Nearly half of Mexico’s 72 million eligible voters are under the age of 39, and a staggering 14 million have cast their ballots for the first time. They hope their vote will help resolve the violence and corruption that have overshadowed politics in their lives.
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Here are four key issues related to Mexico’s historic elections:
When is Mexico’s election?
Mexico holds presidential elections every six years, with only one term left. This year’s vote will take place on Sunday, July 1, and is expected to take place on Monday morning.
It will be the biggest voting day in the country’s history, with more than 3,400 seats up for grabs at the local and state levels, including 128 senators and 500 members of the house of representatives.
Who is the candidate for President of Mexico?
The 64-year-old, known in the media as Amlo, has been one of Mexico’s most famous politicians for years. He has run for President twice before and lost relatively little. This time, however, his leftist, Mexico’s first private-sector brand to speak out looks like a winner: he expects to win twice the votes of his closest rival.
As the head of the national regeneration movement or morena, the left will take tough action against endemic corruption in Mexico. Under his leadership, he said, the government “will no longer be a committee serving a community, but a true representative of the people.” He promised to move out of the presidential palace a more modest old building to support his image as a champion of inequality.
LopezObrador promised to give priority to previously neglected rural and indigenous groups, promising fixed prices for infrastructure projects and agricultural projects. He also wants to provide free education for the elderly and bigger pensions for the young.
All these spending promises critics warned him that he will bring Mexico into venezuela’s roads, venezuela’s left-wing populist leaders have supervised the disastrous economic and humanitarian crisis. But LopezObrador said the tax would need little increase and that his plan would “save money by fighting corruption and cutting unnecessary costs”.
Ricardo anaya appears to be the only candidate to be upset about LopezObrador’s predicted landslide. The 39-year-old has formed an unlikely alliance between his centre-right national action party and two smaller centre-left parties, with turnout now running at about 26 per cent. Anaya, known as a ruthless political operator, has launched a fiasco against PRI and LopezObrador. He accused the latter want to change the Mexican “with very old ideas in the past, the past trapped”, and said that his candidacy would be political institutions only real breakthrough, dismayed many mexicans.
He suggested that the office of the attorney general be made independent of the government to prevent corruption and streamline the judiciary. He also suggested gradually introducing universal basic income to tackle poverty. The proposal would separate mexicans, some saying it would be a lifeline for the poorest, others saying the figures would not add to costs.
As a candidate for the ruling PRI, Antonio meade has been unable to overcome voter frustration over his party’s failure to tackle crime and corruption. The 48-year-old former finance minister is expected to be close to third. He was close to President pena nieto and defended him against corruption charges, but in May he was forced to admit that his former boss had lost his fight against violent crime.
Mead is trying to express oneself is a lovely person, commitment to all over the country to build 3000 much-needed hospital, to provide social security for domestic workers, raising the minimum wage, ensure that men and women equal pay for equal work.
Independent candidates Jaime “El bronco-worth around” Rodriguez was surprised many Mexican media, because he started on his list of signatures required to institute of the national election of “irregularities”. He was later fined for illegal campaign funds.
He came fourth in the poll, at just 5%. But a small group of followers liked rodriguez’s tough stance on the drug cartels – he was assassinated almost twice. He denies being a far-right politician, despite proposals to abolish the minimum wage and impose the death penalty on serious criminals.
What are the main problems in Mexico’s election?
Corruption has long been endemic in Mexico, with local police reportedly harassing civilians and politicians almost daily to accept bribes. Yet it has become a more prominent problem after several high-profile scandals involving the ruling PRI. Nine former governors from the party are currently or are awaiting trial in corruption cases, including allegations of money laundering and involvement in organised crime. In 2016, Mr PenaNieto’s wife was forced to cancel a $7m luxury apartment in Mexico City on suspicion that it had been paid for by an industrialist who wanted a government contract.
The issue has helped to boost LopezObrador’s popularity. His action at the rally was to stop the injustice of Mexican companies. Other candidates also tried a similar strategy, but not so successful — Anaya is accused of corruption, and Rodriguez, threatened to “decapitation” was convicted of corruption of politicians, but his little base was not impressive.
Security and violence
May is Mexico’s most violent month in recent history and is expected to overtake last year’s record 29,168 murders in 2018. The reasons for the surge include a decade-long crackdown by drug cartels that has divided gangs and dispersed them to new areas. A severe shortage of police and 116,000 job vacancies across the country has made Mexico’s streets more dangerous than ever.
The candidates all suggested reforming the security system. LopezObrador wants to create a national guard, which would allow marines and soldiers to play a permanent role on the streets of Mexico, and a decade later they were asked to help the former government crack down on gangs. Worryingly, human rights groups say the army is not properly trained to deal with civilians. His other main security proposal, a partial amnesty for criminals and a focus on fighting the social exclusion that leads to crime, has divided a country, many of them terrorized by gangs. Anaya focused his solution on retraining the police and investing in better technology to track down criminals.
Economy and poverty
Mexico’s economy is growing slowly, by only about 2% a year. Oil prices fell and production at Pemex, the state-owned oil company, fell. The peso fell sharply against the dollar – in part because investors were worried about renegotiating nafta with the United States and Canada. More than 40 percent live in poverty, and a key question is how the candidates plan to stimulate economic growth.
LopezObrador has pledged to prioritize the most vulnerable in Mexican society, a key part of his platform. But he also promised to balance the budget within three years by cutting salaries for public employees and eliminating expensive projects like the new international airport. He said he would also keep markets “open” to foreign investment.
Anaya said his plan to introduce universal basic income would spur economic growth and tackle unemployment, though he did not say how he would pay for it. Mead hopes to continue the PRI’s economic development strategy, attracting $29 billion in investment for the energy sector.