Mexico’s Presidential Elections and New Political Environment
uly 1st marked a historic day in Mexico’s political history. Grupo Estrategia Politica (GEP), IGP Partner Mexico, provides a high-level overview of the country’s largest electoral process and the new virtual Presidential-elect, and an in-depth report detailing what to expect moving forward.
On July 1st, Mexico held the biggest electoral process in history, with 3,326 elected positions:
- 128 Senators
- 500 Representatives
- 27 Local Congresses
- 1,596 Mayors in 24 states
- 9 Governors
Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) became the virtual winner of the Presidential election. This situation responds to a candidate that was able to capitalize on the high social discontent and an 18-year political effort. The AMLO effect is reflected at the national level since the Coalition that he leads will obtain different strategic positions, such as the Head of Government of Mexico City, four governorships, majority in the Federal Congress, majority in more than fifteen local Congresses, among other local posts.
Since the results were announced, the messages that the virtual President-elect has been sending are positive, calling for the national reconciliation and disposed to work with the private sector and civil organizations. In addition, he has already held many high-profile meetings with current President Enrique Peña Nieto, announcing an orderly and coordinated transition, as well as with the private sector, giving certainty to their investments and confidence in the Mexican institutions.
Regarding the NAFTA renegotiation, the virtual President-elect has declared that he will continue with the NAFTA renegotiation, always having the national interest as a priority and not rushing the negotiations, and will seek a comprehensive immigration agreement with the Trump Administration. In the meantime, the current Mexican negotiation team is meeting with the transition team in order prepare for the upcoming months.
In Congress, the next President will not need to negotiate to approve secondary reforms as MORENA obtains a majority in both Houses of Congress; its alliance with the Labor (PT) and Social Encounter (PES) parties adds to a simple majority, a condition that will facilitate the 2019 Economic Package and other reforms presented by the Executive. However, the coalition cannot approve Constitutional reforms by itself.
The AMLO effect was also reflected in the integration of the Congress, an element that in turn impeded several independent candidates of achieving a seat in the next Legislature. There are national priorities in the public agenda that MORENA should attend from the Congress. The opposition will have little margin to make counterweights and position its agenda.
At the state level, the trends indicate a substantial change in the balance of power in the governorships. It is worth noting the rise of MORENA in most of the States, as well as the case of Citizen Movement Party in Jalisco. It can be noted that the ‘punishment’ vote is also reflected in the local elections. One of the most relevant findings is that, according to preliminary results in 5 entities, MORENA candidates obtained more than 40% of the vote in their favor, this occurs in a context of social bitterness and will force greater commitment in government action. The political map would be modified in the 32 states, which were historically governed mostly by the PRI and the PAN.