Published: Wed, July 04, 2018
Money | By Wilma Wheeler

Left-wing president elected in Mexico

Left-wing president elected in Mexico

"If Trump sends out an offensive tweet, I will take charge and answer him", said incoming Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, known as "AMLO", at a campaign rally in Oaxaca.

According to exit polls, the sharp-tongued, silver-haired politician known as "AMLO" won by a large margin over his two main rivals, who both conceded defeat shortly after the polls closed - laying to rest concerns that a deeply divided country could face prolonged uncertainty over the victor.

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". But Duncan also said that many people are unsure of how Lopez Obrador will be able to provide what he has promised.

The next president is unlike most of his predecessors in many ways: Devoutly religious, he is a career activist instead of a lawyer, military officer or businessman, and the first president in a century to speak in a marked regional accent, from his native Tabasco state in Mexico's tropical lowlands.

Lopez Obrador, often called by his initials AMLO, told a Mexican television network that Trump's tweet was "very respectful" and that Mexico was "never going to disrespect the USA government because we want them to respect us".

Polling firms Mitofsky and the Strategic Communications Cabinet announced broadly similar results in their own exit polls.

Beyond that, Lopez Obrador's cabinet picks, who will be responsible for much of the negotiation, signal an interest in a successful renegotiating of NAFTA.

Mexican voters are heading to the polls Sunday in a historic election that could reshape the country.

Lopez Obrador took between 53 and 53.8 per cent of the vote.

Claudia Sheinbaum of the "Juntos haremos historia" coalition party, gives her thumb up after casting her vote during the general elections in Mexico City, on July 1, 2018.

Three other states were too close to call, according to Mitofsky.

With almost three-quarters of the ballots counted, Lopez Obrador had about 53 per cent of the vote - the most for any presidential candidate since 1982, a time when the Institutional Revolutionary Party was in its 71-year domination of Mexican politics and ruling party victories were a given. The influential Mexican business community started to push heavily for a more open economy and put their support behind pro-US politicians.

Elections have also occurred at federal, regional and local levels. More than 250,000 people have been killed and more than 30,000 have gone missing since former president Felipe Calderon sent troops into the streets 12 years ago in an effort to neutralise drug cartels whose power was beginning to rival that of the state.

Many voters say they are sick of both the PRI and the PAN, the parties that have governed Mexico for almost a century. Trump spent a half-hour on the phone with Lopez Obrador on Monday, and told reporters afterwards that the conversation went well. The outgoing Mexican president, Enrique Pena Nieto, has twice cancelled plans to visit Washington over Trump's ongoing insistence that Mexico pay for the wall.

The comments from Lopez Obrador come afterTrump congratulated his new Mexican counterpart after his overwhelming presidential win Sunday.

During his meeting with Pena Nieto, the first since Sunday's election, Lopez Obrador said they had agreed to work jointly on talks with the United States and Canada to reconstruct NAFTA, maintaining the current negotiating team while also including Lopez Obrador's picks for handling future talks.

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