By SILVIO CANTO, JR.
Mexico held its largest midterm elections in history on Sunday, June 6, and the results weren’t great news for President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO).
While his leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena) did gain political territory by winning 11 or 15 governorships up for grabs, the party lost large swathes of ground in Mexico City and surrendered its former supermajority in the nation’s lower legislative house, the Chamber of Deputies.
This means that AMLO will now have to compromise to get things done.
As the BBC News astutely pointed out in an analysis published on Monday, June 7, “the president is now likely to face challenges to his ambitious reform program,” since Morena and its allies will no longer hold the two-thirds majority needed to push through constitutional changes.
“[The result] is a defeat for López Obrador — not overwhelming — but it does weaken him and his project because it requires constitutional reforms,” added political analyst José Antonio Crespo in an interview with the AFP news agency.
So, now, we shall see how AMLO reacts to this new political reality.
Will he react like U.S. President Bill Clinton did in 1995 and sit down with the other side in order to get something done? Or will he once again show his authoritarian side?
A few of my Mexican friends here in Texas said that they were relieved with the polling results.
They had expressed concerns about having one party running everything in their country, as has been the case for the last two and a half years.
They said that they felt that was counterproductive and made an economic recovery in Mexico far less likely.
One of them reminded me that massive corruption was the legacy of one-party rule under the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) for 71 years.
Now, at last, there is again pluralism in the Mexican political landscape, and that has left AMLO singing the blues.
By the way, a couple of things about the Mexican election are worth noting: No party complained about voter IDs, which were required by anyone participating in the midterm and all elections in Mexico. And violence was an unfortunate reality of the season, with 89 candidates killed in the campaign.
SILVIO CANTO, JR. is a Cuban-born U.S. citizen who teaches English at a north Texas college. He is the author of the book “Cubanos in Wisconsin” and has a daily online radio program and blog dealing with U.S. and Latin American politics, as well as sports and historic events, and is a regular contributor to American Thinker.