By RICARDO CASTILLO
The attempt by a conservative political group in Mexico to push President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) to “resign now” is baffling.
The group in question, the National Front to Stop AMLO (Frena), has established a permanent occupation protest in front of the National Palace, where López Obrador lives and governs the country.
On a daily basis, AMLO alludes to Frena’s objective to make him resign one way or another.
Last week, he even challenged them, vowing that when they could authenticate a 100,000-person demonstration, he would step down and go back to his ranch in Palenque, Chiapas.
On Saturday, Oct. 3, the group held a massive march through Mexico City with more than 130,000 participants who certified their presence with notary publics, plus thousands more who did not get authenticated.
But AMLO said that the current not-so-massive demonstration should come in tandem with a steep drop of his public acceptance at the polls.
In reference to Saturday’s protest march, which included a noticeable increase of participants in the permanent occupation protest, on Monday, Oct. 5, AMLO did not miss the opportunity to say that, while Frena’s attendance had increased for the day, “they still can’t fill up the Zócalo,” Mexico City’s main square.
“They need to try harder to see if they can fill it up, and on more than one occasion,” AMLO said.
He also said that they will have to continue their protest until 2022, when a referendum is slated to be held to ask the Mexican public if they want AMLO to complete his six-year term.
López Obrador said that all opposition protests much be conducted legally and without violence.
“The voters will be asked during the first quarter of 2022 whether they want the president to continue or to resign,” he said, adding that it is up to the people to decide.
Also on Monday, Oct. 5, the conservative Mexican daily El Financiero published its latest poll on AMLO’s popularity, indicating that, in September, his approval rating increased from 59 to 62 percent, which is still, lower than the 68 percent he held previous to the covid-19 pandemic.
During his morning press conference, AMLO rejoiced at the El Financiero report because, as a rule, the majority of the columnists in the conservative financial daily tend blast him constantly, but the newspaper also sticks to its commitment to tell the truth and reported AMLO’s popularity increase correctly.
AMLO viewed the nationwide poll as a minor victory over his Frena neighbor, whom he claims are not really staging a permanent protest because the leaders “never show up to sleep in the camp because all the tents are empty at night.” (Frena has disputed that allegation.)
Among his supporters, AMLO’s promise to step down if his opponents gather a 100,000-person-strong protest was not well received.
One supporter posted on Twitter: “He had 30 million votes in the 2018 election, so why allow a minority of 100,000 suffice for him to resign? That makes no sense.”
It sure doesn’t, but for now, AMLO is bound to continue mocking Frena’s efforts to oust him “by any means necessary.”
…Oct. 6, 2020