Everyone seems to be talking about the Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) win and what it could mean for México. The fact is that not even López Obrador knows how his administration will evolve because there are many unknowns at this point. López Obrador made many promises, but historically, Mexican presidents have been unable to keep campaign promises because of political obstruction from Congress.
It is true that the Mexican president has more power to enact public policy than his American counterpart, but the Mexican congress has been notorious for obstructing in the past. It also true that the coalition formed by AMLO seems to control Congress, according to the most recent count. However, as a coalition it is unknown if it will continue to work in unison on all issues, some of the issue or whether the coalition will fracture on all issues.
In addition, although much is being said about how “left” Mexican politics have swung, the fact is that México has leaned left of center for much of its politics since the Mexican Revolution. The PRI is left of center, while the PAN is right of center. It is true that Andrés Manuel López Obrador has promised a public policy based on a leftist agenda, but he has yet to articulate how he will implement it and fund it, much less get Congress to support it.
It will be sometime before we get a clear picture of the future of México.
Nonetheless there is something that no one can argue against, México has become a true Democracy. Not only is the president elected via a direct vote – each vote counts toward the winner – but it also elected a non-traditional president from a third-party, one who has alleged voter fraud in the past.
As much as AMLO has promised, the reality is that he proved México is a Democracy.
There is, however, a few additional facts that are important to point out.
According to the preliminary elections results, more than 63% of the electorate cast a vote in the election.
Also, Mexican voters living abroad also contributed to the election by casting votes from outside of the country. Although the presence of voters outside of the country was lackluster. About 98,000 votes from other countries were cast.
Unlike in the United States, ten political parties participated in the election. Nine of the parties formed coalitions to run a presidential candidate. Also, unlike the U.S., México has a national election identity card offering greater election security. Most important, the ballots are paper and electronic at the same time. This ensures rapid results and accountability with the ability to count ballots manually.
AMLO will take office on December 1.
Over the next few months there will be a lot of analysis about the Mexican elections. Also, over the next six years is when we will really know whether AMLO makes changes in México, or whether the same problems: corruption, impunity and violence remains the same.
Remember, there was much hope for a new future in 2000 when Vicente Fox and the PAN won over the PRI. So do not be surprised if in six years we are all arguing the same thing about México.