Women won big in Mexico’s elections — taking nearly half the legislature’s seats. Here’s why.

07/11/18 The Washington Post

Margarita_Zavala_De_CalderonWhile observers discuss leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s victory in Mexico’s presidential election, complete with majorities in both chambers of congress and control of nearly half the governorships and state legislatures up for election, another historic earthquake has been overlooked: gender parity in congress.

When the new Mexican congress sits on Dec. 1, women will make up 49 percent of the lower house and 51 percent of the senate. Mexico will rank fourth in the world for women’s legislative representation. And it will be the only country with an elected senate that is majority female.

Across the board, Mexican women won big in the July 1 elections. The second most important political position in the country (mayor of Mexico City) also went to a woman. At the subnational level, women will make up 50 percent of most state legislatures.

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Mexican leader to invite Trump to inauguration, signals shift on Venezuela

07/05/2018 Reuters

AMLOMexico’s President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Thursday he would invite U.S. President Donald Trump to his Dec. 1 inauguration, as the leftist signaled a potential shift in Mexican policy toward Venezuela.

Lopez Obrador, who won election by a landslide on Sunday, said he would invite Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other heads of state to his swearing in.

“An invitation will be sent to Donald Trump. We are neighboring countries, we have economic and trade relations, a bond of friendship,” Lopez Obrador told a news conference.

Relations between the two men will be under close scrutiny to see whether they can move past tensions over migration, the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Trump’s demand that Mexico pay for a border wall.

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Mexico authorities mulling $10 million fine for election victors

07/04/2018 Reuters

amloMexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s party could face a $10 million fine for violations of campaign finance rules, the national electoral institute said on Wednesday following the group’s wide-reaching election victory.

Lopez Obrador, a former Mexico City mayor who has vowed to root out corruption and make government contracts transparent, on Sunday won by a landslide while his leftist National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) took an outright majority in Congress.

The possible fine of more than 197 million pesos, slated to be put to a vote by the National Electoral Institute (INE) on July 18, would be the largest related to campaign financing for the recently concluded election season.

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Mexico’s Lopez Obrador seen dominating Congress, as female lawmakers surge

07/04/2018 Reuters

MEXICO CONGRESSThe party of Mexico’s president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and its allies will have an outright majority in Congress but will not surpass the two-thirds threshold needed to change the constitution, estimates show.

Lopez Obrador, a leftist, won a landslide victory on Sunday, and will wield considerable power in a Congress set to have the highest concentration of female lawmakers in Mexican history.

For the first time, there may be more female senators than male, and a nearly 50-50 split in the lower house, Mexico’s electoral institute projects, underlining the far-reaching consequences of Lopez Obrador’s win.

Tapping into widespread disillusionment with years of violence, corruption and inequality in Latin America’s No. 2 economy, Lopez Obrador won about 53 percent of votes.

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Prominent Mexican company denies taking sides in presidential vote

06/02/2018 Reuters

election's guide vote imageA company belonging to one of Mexico’s richest men on Friday denied taking sides in the presidential race amid growing evidence of unease among prominent businesses about a possible victory by leftist front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Luxury department store El Palacio de Hierro, a part of billionaire Alberto Bailleres’ business empire, issued a statement in newspapers saying that it was not trying to influence the election, despite recent reports to the contrary.

El Palacio de Hierro said it was part of a movement called CONCIENCIA MX that aimed to help its employees see how to achieve “the model of country we want”.

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Mexican Electoral Campaign Flush With Illegal Funding

05/29/2018 New York Times

For every peso declared to Mexican electoral authorities by political electionsparties and candidates, 15 more are moving under the table, according to a report Tuesday on the problem of illegal campaign finance.

The nonprofit Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity published the report after months of investigation, concluding that Mexico’s public campaign finance system has failed to keep illegal money from influencing elections.

The report says that the cash moving around electoral campaigns is such that Mexico’s central bank has documented inexplicable increases in the amount of cash circulating in the economy in the five months before elections.

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Exclusive: Mexico Central Bank Ready for Election, Could Support Peso-Diaz De Leon

05/29/2018 New York Times

mexican-pesos-coinsMexico’s central bank is prepared for different scenarios resulting from the country’s July 1 presidential vote, central bank chief

Alejandro Diaz de Leon said late on Monday, adding that policymakers could act to support the peso if liquidity dries up.

Diaz de Leon said in an interview with Reuters that it was not the central bank’s place to comment on candidates’ economic policies, but added that policymakers are “attentive and prepared for different scenarios.”

Leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, whose campaign has focused on promises to tackle poverty and corruption, holds a wide lead in recent polls over second placed Ricardo Anaya, from a right-left coalition, and the trailing ruling party’s candidate Jose Antonio Meade.

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