Lopez Obrador Declares Victory in Mexican Presidential Election, Peso Falls

Sean Reid
July 4, 2018

Lopez Obrador is estimated to have won between 53 and 59 percent of the vote.

That would be the biggest share of the vote since the early 1980s, and would give Lopez Obrador a strong platform both to address Mexico's internal problems and face external challenges like the threat of a trade war with the United States.

Mexicans were voting Sunday in a potentially transformative election that could put in power a firebrand vowing to end politics and business as usual in a country tired of spiraling violence and scandal-plagued politicians. Exit polling by Consulta Mitofsky for the Televisa network forecast gubernatorial wins for allies of Lopez Obrador's Morena party in at least four of eight state races on the ballot plus for the head of government in Mexico City.

"We demand the state guarantee the security of this electoral process", the PRI said in a statement. "We'll be looking in the coming weeks for indications of the size and nature of any fiscal stimulus or signs of a more interventionist energy policy". "As we build for the future we must also remember and secure justice for those who died during those elections", he continued, in reference to the many candidates, politicians and citizens who were killed during the campaign period. Trump's anti-immigration policies, his rhetoric about Mexican migrants and anti-trade stance have plunged ties between the U.S. and Mexico to a historic low. And efforts to update the North American Trade Agreement have stalled, raising concerns that negotiations could drag into next year.

The leader of Mexico's other NAFTA partner, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, welcomed Lopez Obrador's victory, calling Mexico a "close friend".

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".

"While Obrador's victory may ease concerns of political instability, there still remains a thick smog of uncertainty over Mexico's economic outlook", said Lukman Otunuga of FXTM.

The results bring to an end what may have been Mexico's most violent election. "Peace and tranquility are the fruits of justice", Lopez Obrador said. Conservative Ricardo Anaya of a right-left coalition and the PRI's Jose Antonio Meade acknowledged defeat shortly after polls closed nationwide.

According to CNN, the 64-year-old ran on a populist platform saying he's sick of the grip that Mexico's elite have on his country.

Christian Lawrence, a market strategist at Rabobank, said the peso was being further supported because of high Mexican interest rates even though there are concerns about a shift in economic policy.

The new president will take office on December 1.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC that Mexico "needs some sort of an arrangement" given its dependence on American consumers and businesses, having shipped $314 billion in goods to the United States past year.

Mexico's president serves on six-year term without the possibility of re-election. Indeed, AMLO has compared Trump's attacks on Mexicans to the way Hitler and the Nazis talked about Jews and called the American president "erratic and arrogant".

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