Election of new Mexican president adds uncertainty to future of NAFTA talks

03 Juillet, 2018, 08:56 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Pedro Mera via Getty Images     
             President elect of Mexico Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks during the celebration event on Sunday

Lopez Obrador's opponents have suggested his election will create more tension with Washington at a time when relations are already fraught by the stalled talks on reworking Nafta and by Trump's immigration policies, including a planned wall along the USA border. State representatives and local officials are also among the more than 3,400 seats contested in the election.

Lopez Obrador told the Televisa network Monday that he will respect the current team of negotiators, and let them continue representing Mexico until he takes office December 1, noting that he wants to have information on what's being discussed and "to help as much as we can".

Mexicans across the political spectrum have said Mexico will not pay for Trump's proposed wall along the southern USA border, which he has said is needed to keep out both illegal immigrants and drugs.

A cover of his recent book features Mr Lopez Obrador pointing his finger, accompanied by the words "Listen, Trump!"

The run-up to this election saw 133 politicians killed in areas where the cartels have more power than the law.

A third-time presidential candidate, López Obrador has publicly derided Trump's plans to build a wall along the border between the US and Mexico and has said he will demand respect from the White House.

Lopez Obrador's closest rival is PAN's Ricardo Anaya, who leads a center-right coalition.

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Lopez Obrador's rivals argued he could set the country back decades and lead to disaster with an interventionist economic policy. An exit poll by Parmetira had Lopez Obrador winning with between 53 to 59 percent of the vote, far ahead of his two main rivals.

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Jaime "El Bronco" Rodriguez fought for attention with a horse-mounted "everyman" campaign and by tossing out policy bombs like his proposal to cut off the hands of public officials caught stealing.

It is also the first time Mexicans living overseas can vote for down ballot races like senators. According to Mexicos National Electoral Institute (INE), over 20,000 ballots have so far been stolen across the nation.

Casting his own vote, Pena Nieto promised to work with whoever wins on the transition. His election marks the first leftist presidential win in 30 years for Mexico.

His allies warned even before Sunday's presidential vote that there better not be any amusing business.

His unconventional, and at times inconsistent, policy stances have sometimes led to comparisons with Trump and have rattled nerves in the business community.

The government of the northern state of Chihuahua reported that three people were arrested in the border city of Ciudad Juarez for allegedly trying to buy votes for an unnamed political party.

Queuing under the hot sun at Tijuana polling booths, many Mexican voters who had crossed the border from California told Reuters that they trusted Lopez Obrador most to protect the roughly 12 million Mexicans living in the United States. Some ballots were stolen and burned in the town of Nahuatzen to prevent voting. "Eradicating corruption will be the principal mission", he said. "Now that he has won, he can not fail this new generation that believes in him", said Mariano Bartolini, a 29-year-old lawyer who voted for Lopez Obrador in the northwestern city of Rosarito, near Tijuana. "I think he is the least corrupt of all".

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