By RICARDO CASTILLO
It was no coincidence or mistake that Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) on Thursday, July 25, signed before a notary public his sworn statement vowing that he will not seek reelection as president in the 2024 electoral campaign.
In case you think this is weird, then think again. It just so happens that all of the anti-AMLO forces that were literally squashed a year ago during the July 1, 2018, presidential election by AMLO’s landslide victory, with 53 percent of the vote, have not stopped their anti-AMLO campaign, taking advantage of every event that’s going on in Mexico to claim that the president is a new Venezuelan Nicolás Maduro, who will stay in power forever.
The list of AMLO’s political foes is long, starting with members of the sorely defeated National Action Party (PAN) in both houses of Congress, who have claimed AMLO is out to get himself re-elected. They are nowadays followed by former President Felipe Calderón, who splintered from the PAN and aims to create a new anti-National Regeneration Movement (Morena) party called Mexico Libre (Free Mexico), through which he plans to take his wife Margarita Zavala to the presidential seat.
Most notorious are the efforts of historian Enrique Krauze, who in his Twitter account has published that “it is urgent to create the anti-reelection movement suggested by thrice-failed presidential hopeful Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas. Many of us would follow him” and others like the Business Coordination Council (CCE), which is touting its current leader, Gustavo de Hoyos, as a potential presidential candidate to counter AMLO’s Fourth Transformation movement, which, most definitely, Mexican businessmen don’t care for.
This list of AMLO anti-reelection proponents is even longe, since there are a bunch of political columnists (many of them in the list of journalists who cranked the payola arm during the Enrique Peña Nieto administration) who claim that the just revamped Baja California state constitutional reform to extend Governor-elect Jaime Bonilla Valdéz’s term from two to five years is indeed “a rehearsal” for AMLO’s own presidential reelection.
AMLO claimed earlier in this week that this was fake news because he had nothing to do with the constitutional change and wasn’t even aware of it until it hit the national news. AMLO said prior to signing his no-reelection notarized statement that he’d been informed that out of the 21 Baja California state legislators who voted in favor of the period extension for governor-elect Bonilla, nine were members of the PAN.
AMLO accused the PAN of “acting hypocritically” in accusing him of being behind the ploy, “because I didn’t know how they had voted, but I have a certain intuition because I am very familiar with how conservatives think.”
“It must be said that this measure was approved by all parties, beginning with the PAN, but now there is doublespeak, double morality,” AMLO said.
“The only thing I ask is that they do not involve me in this issue, because they are trying to blame me for everything that happens. This is a matter that has to do with a state congress and has to be dealt with by the proper authorities. The times are over when the president decides which way to go.”
During the no-reelection commitment document-inking on Thursday morning during his daily press conference at his home at the National Palace, AMLO said:
“I am a Maderista (referring being a follower of Francisco I. Madero, who in the 1910 election defeated 34-year dictator Porfirio Diaz) and I believe in effective suffrage, no reelection. And that’s why I am going to last in power for as long as the people want (the latest joint polls by dailies Reforma and The Washington Post put AMLO’s popularity at 70 percent). I am not going to hang on to the presidency” he said prior to signing.
Will this signed and notarized document be sufficient to stop hardcore critics from stirring suspicions that AMLO will in fact seek reelection?
Most likely not, but now they have a signed document to stop him, in case he does.