Mexicans vote Sunday in a potentially transformative election that could put in power a firebrand vowing to end politics and business as usual in a country weary of spiraling violence, unchecked corruption and scandal-plagued politicians.
But his rivals warn that a victory by leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador could set the country back decades with an interventionist economic policy and are also promising to fight corruption and bring change to Mexico. All the candidates are lambasting President Donald Trump’s policies against migrants and Mexico.
Sunday’s elections for posts at every level of government are Mexico’s largest ever and have become a referendum on corruption, graft and other tricks used to divert taxpayer money to officials’ pockets and empty those of the country’s poor.
This is Lopez Obrador’s third bid for the presidency and some see it as his best shot after 12 years of near-permanent campaigning. His railing against the “mafia of power” that has long ruled Mexico and in favor of the poor appears to be falling on receptive ears with polls showing him with a wide lead over three rivals who have failed to ignite voters’ interest.
“The corrupt regime is coming to its end,” Lopez Obrador, a 64-year-old commonly known as AMLO, said at his final campaign event Wednesday. “We represent modernity forged from below.”
Much of the popular ire has been aimed at unpopular President Enrique Pena Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party. Its candidate, Jose Antonio Meade, failed to gain traction with voters who would not give him the benefit of the doubt in spite of his ample resume in government and being an outsider to the ruling party.