Mexican Election Could Have Major Impact on US

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The 2024 Mexican President Election is underway, with hopefuls joining in the race to succeed the current president López Obrador, known as AMLO, the Wall Street Journal reports. While Mexican presidents hold 6 year terms, they cannot seek reelection. As such, the current President’s endorsement will be a key factor in the race.

Early polls show that whoever is nominated by López Obrador’s leftist Movement for National Regeneration, or Morena, will be favored to win the presidency. The main contenders have pledged to continue the policies of the nationalist president, an agenda that has led to tensions with the U.S. over drug trafficking and trade disputes.

For decades, Mexico’s PRI was the dominant political party in control of the government. Managing to gather disparate factions, the PRI was functionally the state party, where real political decisions were taken by party insiders rather than the voters. Only in 2000 did another party succeed it.

AMLO is the first president of the MORENA movement, a left-wing movement. His policies include a broadly liberal social agenda on topics such as sexuality, combined with a focus on anti-corruption measures. AMLO’s approach to the drug war and illegal immigration is seen as confrontational towards the US.

Bilateral cooperation on the war against drugs weakened after the U.S. arrested Mexico’s former defense minister on drug trafficking and corruption charges. He was eventually returned to Mexico. In late 2020, the Morena party passed a law curbing the role of foreign law-enforcement officers in Mexico.

AMLO has stayed clear from going after the upper crust of Mexican society, either by raising their taxes or turning over the criminal elements to the United States for prosecution.

Sheinbaum, 60 years old, studied physics and conducted research at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif. She leads most polls to become Morena’s presidential candidate. She entered party politics in the early 2000s within López Obrador’s leftist movement and is widely seen as a protégé of the president.

The two top contenders are Sheinbaum and Ebrard. Sheinbaum is the more left-wing of the two, and appears to soon receive the blessing from AMLO. Ebrard however, appeals to the middle-class voters and could perform better in the general election with his support from independents. Regardless of the winner, Joe Biden and the next Presidential administration will have to deal with the Mexican President on a multitude of issues.


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