July 1st was perhaps the most consequential election in Mexico’s history with a large majority of Mexican voters choosing Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) as their preferred choice to be their president.
As you may have read or heard during the lead-up to this momentous day, there has been much in the way of controversy internationally, especially within the United States, with a great deal of commentary and news being, if anything, significantly negative and fearful at the prospect of such an outcome.
However, as the day has dawned and AMLO’s election is now a reality, calmer commentary is surfacing, with a more rational and conciliatory perspective beginning to emerge and prevail.
A consensus is emerging suggesting in fact that the newly elected president is demonstrating and articulating a conciliatory and positive even, disposition towards relations between Mexico and the U.S. government, and peoples across all ethnic lines; thereby representing in practise a much more positive attitude and message than was being earlier predicted during the run-up.
By courtesy of the influential Monarch News Service, and links in the following Monarch commentary including an insightful article published by the Washington Post and an excellent piece in today’s New York Times, we felt it would be constructive, helpful, and informative to share with our valued customers, who may have been encountering their own level of uncertainty and trepidation as to how President Obrador’s successful win might influence international relationships, economic ties between our nations, including the effect upon trade between our countries.
Again, with our sincere thanks to all the distinguished journalists and world-class publications, here is a much more balanced and optimistic summary of facts as they are emerging; with refreshed opinions that much will indeed be more optimistic and positive with every chance of economic relationships being strengthened, and certainly being positively pursued as the desired pathway forward.
President Obrador will be inaugurated on December 1st, 2018. We will continue to monitor developments and ensure that you are kept fully informed as the next weeks unfold.
Here is the full article, with the links underlined in light blue.
SPECIAL CLIENT ALERT:
MEXICAN ELECTIONS 2018
AN INITIAL ASSESSMENT OF THE MEXICAN ELECTION
Yesterday, July 1, was perhaps the most consequential election in Mexican history. In addition to electing left-leaning Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) to the presidency, Mexicans filled over 3,000 positions (more than ever before) including the entire federal congress, nine governors, and hundreds of mayors. Turnout was over a staggering 65%, suggesting that Mexicans can teach their neighbors to the north something about the importance of voting. Furthermore, the election was hugely important in terms of conferring faith in democracy and the rule of law for all Mexicans, especially those not traditionally empowered. The Mexican National Electoral Institute conducted what appears to be a fair and transparent election, so much so that the AMLO’s three opponents conceded the race before INE had officially named him the winner–further evidence that the young Mexican democracy is vibrant and well-entrenched.
The new president-elect achieved a convincing and dominant win, with a coherent message and agenda, and with broad coat tails in Congress. AMLO has apparently carried every state but one (with results not final at this writing), and his Morena party and its coalition partners (the leftist Workers Party (PT) and the socially conservative Encuentro party (PES)) will hold a majority in both houses of Congress (though they will lack the 2/3 majority required to amend the constitution). His party also carried a majority of the nine gubernatorial races up for election this cycle and made substantial inroads at the municipal level throughout the country, including in traditional PRI strongholds. AMLO has a clear mandate, and If he is governs-credibly and fulfills his promise to root out corruption, it could be a true turning point for Mexico.
Despite widespread and sometimes hysterical reporting characterizing AMLO as an anti-American populist along the lines of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, he is far from that. He is, at heart, a pragmatist, who we believe seems to understand his unique opportunity to bring, as he says, a new “transformation” to Mexico. Monarch Chairman, Ambassador James Jones, has a thoughtful and insightful piece on AMLO in today’s Washington Post, which gives further insight into the man and his approach to governing. AMLO’s pragmatism will be challenged, however, by the reality that he is a complex person with sometimes competing and divergent priorities, making him something of a “Mexican Paradox.” Monarch Senior Advisor Pamela Starr delves further into this complexity in her excellent piece in today’s New York Times.
With respect to the U.S. – Mexico bilateral relationship, we do don’t expect an immediate deterioration in bilateral relations. Indeed, President Trump was one of the first to send a congratulatory message (via tweet, predictably), and the two men had a reportedly cordial telephone conversation earlier today. Although AMLO will likely be far less tolerant of Trump’s bullying and will be a far stronger adversary for Trump than Peña Nieto has been, he has emphasized the importance of mutual respect as the basis of the bilateral relationship. Nor do we expect fundamental changes or alteration to the NAFTA negotiations, which have broken down primarily because of US, not Mexican, intransigence. AMLO has said he will request that the current negotiating team also include members of his economic group, most of whom are experienced and pragmatic economists that the international markets appear to be comfortable with, at least thus far. And in his telephone conversation with President Trump, AMLO has said he proposed a broader agreement that would include an emphasis on economic development.
AMLO will take office on December 1. The coming months will be a time of transition and some degree of uncertainty. Monarch will be closely monitoring the situation and will keep our clients fully apprised of developments. To that end, we will also be launching a targeted AMLO TRANSITION WATCH, a subscription-based service that will closely track developments surrounding the transition of power in Mexico. Look for more information on how to subscribe shortly.