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López Obrador and the Future of Mexican Democracy

Will He Further Erode the Checks on Executive Power?

Presidential candidate Andres Manuel López Obrador gestures as he addresses supporters after polls closed in the presidential election, in Mexico City, Mexico, July 2018. Goran Tomasevich / REUTERS

Yesterday, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, best known by his initials, AMLO, won Mexico’s presidential election decisively. After 18 years on the campaign trail, including two previous failed presidential runs, thousands of rallies, and, by his count, a visit to every one of Mexico’s 2,400 municipalities, the Tabasco-born politician received the support of 53 percent of voters at the polls, according to an offical rapid count by electoral authorities. Meanwhile, the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA), López Obrador’s four-year-old political party gained a majority in congress and a majority of the nine governorships up for grabs.

López Obrador’s lambasting of Mexico’s corruption, violence, and deep-seated inequalities resonated broadly with the country’s voters. Yet his victory stemmed in no small part from the shortcomings and outright collapse of his competitors. Second-place finisher Ricardo Anaya ran a disorganized campaign with few graspable policy positions. And five-time cabinet

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