Trump congratulates new leftist Mexico leader

Andrés Manuel López Obrador

Andrés Manuel López Obrador

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a former rights activist and Mexico City mayor, has been elected president of Mexico. In a victory speech following the vote, the 64-year-old struck a unifying tone while saying that his government will give preference to the poor.

An official quick-count revealed that Lopez Obrador took the lead with 53-53.8% of votes, according to the electoral authority.

They're scheduled to end at 6 p.m.in each of Mexico's three summer time zones, meaning the last to close will come in the northwestern state of Baja California. While his allies are forecast to likely dominate both houses of congress, he may not enjoy the two-thirds majority needed for outright reversal.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, victor of Mexico's presidential election, right, waves during a rally at Zocalo square in Mexico City, Mexico, on Sunday, July 1, 2018. The PRI, which dominated Mexican politics for almost the entire 20th century and recaptured the presidency in 2012, was set to suffer heavy losses not just for the presidency but in other races as well. It is the party of current Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who has very low public approval ratings.

Mexico's election of leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador as president may have portended more trade trouble between the two countries, but businesses see President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: Democratic voters will support Republicans because of ICE criticism Coney Barrett, Kavanaugh among candidates who met with Trump: report Trump administration recommends against allowing China Mobile access to United States market MORE as the greater threat on North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). He said he would seek to stay in a version of the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) that was good for Mexico.

"We are going to achieve a peaceful transformation, without violence", Obrador said.

She said she backed leftist front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and called him less than ideal but the "best of the bad" options.

Mexico-US relations deteriorated following the election of Donald Trump as US president in November 2016. So far, both countries have moved to retaliate against the United States.

Lopez Obrador has promised to stop corruption in Mexico's government.

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Duncan Wood heads the Mexico Department of the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. He told VOA that he does not expect the new president to make big changes in policy. "I recognize his victory, I have already talked to him and wish hum success in the work for the benefit of Mexico", Anaya said.

Lopez Obrador also spoke of reducing Mexican immigration to the United States through economic development. While Lopez Obrador held a commanding lead in polls, he anxious many.

Retired Susana Zuniga beamed as she said the country was experiencing a moment similar to the Mexican Revolution a century ago. "The people are fed up".

"We're in the midst of this tit-for-tat tariff war, and that could go either way", Miles said.

After the election, Lopez Obrador said he'll propose that his own team of experts be included in the trade talks.

The victor of Sunday's presidential election doesn't need an absolute majority of the votes, just the most votes among the four candidates.

Most of the murders have been of local politicians, the most frequent targets for drug cartels seeking corrupt officials they can strike alliances with.

It is a major shift in Mexican politics: the PRI and PAN have governed for almost a century, and Lopez Obrador will be the country's first leftist president in recent history.

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