Mexican president promises not to seek re-election

3/20/2019 – The Washington Post

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 (Marco Ugarte/Associated Press)

By Associated Press

MEXICO CITY — Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has signed an open letter promising to not seek re-election after his six-year term ends in 2024.

That move was prompted by opposition fears that a proposal to let voters oust the president midway through his term might actually end up letting him serve longer.

The president’s supporters in Congress advanced legislation last week that would call a referendum halfway through presidential terms — an idea Lopez Obrador had campaigned on.

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Mexico’s lower house passes measure to cut short presidential term

3/15/2019 -Reuters

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REUTERS/Henry Romero

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s Lower House on Thursday approved a constitutional reform that would allow for referendums to cut short the six-year presidential term, a move opposition lawmakers say opens the door to allowing re-election to the nation’s highest office.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who took office on Dec. 1, said during the campaign that he would hold a referendum on his performance at the middle of his term and would cut it short if he loses the consultation.

Lopez Obrador’s MORENA party and its allies hold majorities in both chambers of Congress. The constitutional reform received the required support of two thirds of lawmakers in the Lower House. It now goes to the Senate for discussion and a vote.

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Lopez Obrador Is Dismantling Democracy in Mexico

3/12/2019 – Bloomberg

President Lopez Obrador Holds Daily Morning Press Briefing
Alejandro Cegarra/Bloomberg via Getty Images

By Shannon K O’Neil

Latin America’s two biggest economies are in their first 100 days under new management. During the presidential campaigns in Brazil and Mexico, democracy’s champions worried most about Brazil, given Jair Bolsonaro’s nostalgia for military rule. Yet today it is Mexico’s democracy that is under greater threat: President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, known as AMLO, is systematically concentrating power in an already strong executive.

From the start, AMLO has undermined democratic norms and checks and balances. Despite controlling a constitutional majority in Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies and sizable majority in its Senate, he has often chosen to work outside the formal legislative process. Instead he has relied on dubious public “referendums,” sampling small and politically skewed groups to set agricultural policy, boost pensions, authorize infrastructure projects and create scholarships.

He has attacked and stacked the courts. He quickly moved to cut judges’ salaries and take control of court officials’ evaluations and promotions. His first nominations to the highest bench include the wife of a favored contractor and party loyalists.

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Mexico President Says Working With U.S., Canada on Immigration Plan

12/3/2018 – New York Times

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Photo: El Economista/Notimex

MEXICO CITY — Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Monday said he was working with the United States and Canada to create a three-way investment plan to tackle the issue of immigration from Mexico and Central America.

Lopez Obrador, speaking in his first news conference since taking office on Saturday, also said that investments in an airport project for the capital, which he has said he will cancel, will be guaranteed. A trust on Monday said it would buy back up to $1.8 billion of debt issued to fund the project.

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Mexico’s new ‘common man’ president hits the ground running

12/3/2018 – Washington Post

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(Marco Ugarte/Associated Press)

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s newly inaugurated president hit the ground running Monday with his pledge to govern as a common man and end decades of secrecy, heavy security and luxury enjoyed by past presidents.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador sported slightly ruffled hair at his first early morning news conference as president, which started at 7 a.m. local time Monday.

“Isn’t that a change, that I am here, informing you?” Lopez Obrador asked reporters. While past presidents have very seldom held news conferences, Lopez Obrador promised to do so on a near-daily basis, much as he did when he was mayor of Mexico City from 2000-2005.

Lopez Obrador took his first airplane flight as president Sunday, boarding a commercial flight with the rest of the passengers. He has promised to sell the presidential jet as an austerity measure.

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Mexico’s Lopez Obrador Promises Radical Change in First Speech

12/2/2018 – New York Times

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Source: Reuters

MEXICO CITY — Veteran leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was sworn in as Mexican president on Saturday, promising a radical change of course in a country struggling with gang violence, chronic poverty and corruption on the doorstep of the United States.

The first leftist to take office in Mexico in a generation moved to reassure business after markets crashed last month on worries about his policies. He promised investments would be safe and that he would respect central bank independence.

Following are some reactions to his inaugural speech:

ALFONSO ESPARZA, ANALYST AT OANDA IN TORONTO

“There were no great surprises in the speech. It reiterates criticism of the neo-liberal model with the example of the energy reform, and puts forward increasing the number of refineries. Lots of problems were raised but not much time was left to get into solutions.”

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Mexico’s First Leftist President in Over 70 Years Is Sworn Into Office

12/01/2018 – Time Magazine

ANDRÉS-MANUEL-LÓPEZ-OBRADOR-PRESIDENTE-DE-MÉXICO.jpgBy Christopher Sherman & Maria Verza / AP

(MEXICO CITY) — Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took the oath of office Saturday as Mexico’s first leftist president in over 70 years, marking a turning point in one of the world’s most radical experiments in opening markets and privatization.

Lopez Obrador pledged “a peaceful and orderly transition, but one that is deep and radical.”

 

Mexico long had a closed, state-dominated economy, but since entering the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs in 1986, it has signed more free trade agreements than almost any other country, and privatized almost every corner of the economy except oil and electricity.

Now, though, Lopez Obrador talks a talk not heard in Mexico since the 1960s: He wants to build more state-owned oil refineries and encourages Mexicans to “not to buy abroad, but to produce in Mexico what we consume.”

 

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