Still celebrating its advance in the World Cup this week, Mexico is headed into another emotional weekend as the much anticipated presidential election gets underway.
Frontrunner Andrés Manuel López Obrador – or AMLO as he’s often called – has been described by those following the election closely as a leftist “firebrand” whose main antagonist may very well be U.S. President Donald Trump.
“Right now according to the electoral law in Mexico,” Cervantes says, “it’s a moment to reflect, to meditate and to think about the elections, and so far what we know also is that the latest results from most of the polls are giving Andrés Manuel López Obrador the lead in votes. He is, in most of the polls, leading by 50, 51 or 45 percent, which tells us that half of Mexicans might vote for López Obrador.”
Cervantes says the outcome of the vote could be historic in this election.
“Since Mexico’s going to have four candidates – one of them is an independent candidate, it’s the first time we have one – it’s also going to be three candidates that are working under political coalitions, so the fact that there is one candidate that is having 50 percent of the votes tells that the society is strongly divided, compared to other elections where they’ve had very narrow differences,” Cervantes says. “We’re talking about like sometimes the leading candidate and the second place would be 30 to 35 percent each.”
Whether or not he is elected, López Obrador is one of the most interesting political figures in recent years, Cervantes says.
“This is the third time that he is running for president, the first time that he is running as the candidate for Morena, a party that he founded,” he says. “López Obrador has constantly been very aggressive on his posture against institutions and against politics in Mexico, or the way they’ve been handled constantly. But in this election, we’re seeing a more moderate López Obrador. He’s still leading his followers by arguing that he’s going to fight corruption in the country, he is also becoming for many people in Mexico an emblem of the anti-system.”
Written by Jen Rice.