Mexico’s López Obrador retains majority in lower house
By Eduard Ribas i Admetlla
Mexico City, Jun 7 (EFE).- Sunday’s midterm legislative and local elections in Mexico were seen as a referendum on President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, whose party managed to retain its majority in the lower house, although it will have to depend much more on its allies.
According to preliminary results from the National Electoral Institute, the leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena) was the winner of the largest elections in the country’s history to select the Chamber of Deputies, 15 of 32 state governors, 30 local congresses and more than 1,900 municipalities.
Morena is projected to get about 35 percent of the votes, which is equivalent to between 190 and 203 of the 500 seats in the lower house.
Although that is a lower number of seats than the 253 the party currently holds, together with its allies, the Labor Party (PT) and the Green Party (PVEM), Morena would succeed in going past the absolute majority mark (251) with between 255 and 292 seats.
If these results are confirmed, President López Obrador will continue to enjoy an absolute majority in the second half of his term to push ahead with the “fourth transformation” of Mexico that he has promised.
However, undertaking amendments to the constitution may prove more complicated as it requires a two-thirds majority, or 334 seats.
Meanwhile, the opposition coalition Va por México, comprising the country’s three main opposition parties, is projected to win between 181 and 213 seats.
Specifically, the right-wing National Action Party (PAN) is projected to win between 106 and 117 seats, the former ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) between 63 and 75 seats, and the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) between 12 and 21.
For its part, the liberal Citizen Movement (MC), which is not part of any coalition, emerged as the big decisive factor in the next legislature, with a haul of between 20 and 27 seats.
Aware of what was at stake and despite the fact that it is against the law, López Obrador actively participated in the campaign through his morning press conferences, which led to a showdown with the Electoral Institute.
The other big contest of the day played out in 15 of the 32 state governments of the country. Just as the polling stations closed, both the ruling party and the opposition proclaimed themselves the winners in most regions.
But hours later, the projections of the Electoral Institute give Morena victory in Baja California Sur, Colima, Guerrero, Tlaxcala, Sinaloa, Sonora, Nayarit and Zacatecas.
The electoral authority also projected that the opposition alliance retained the conservative fiefdoms of Campeche and Chihuahua and that the Green Party won San Luis Potosí, while Baja California, Michoacán and Campeche remain disputed.
In addition, Samuel García (MC) prevailed in the industrialized Nuevo León, the most populated state of those at stake and the jewel in the crown of these elections.
If the results are confirmed, Morena will replace the PRI as the party that controls the most territories, including those it already controls such as Mexico City, Puebla, Chiapas, Veracruz, and Tabasco.
After the most violent election campaign in the country’s history, elections went off smoothly with the exception of some isolated incidents and the pervasive Covid-19 pandemic, which made it mandatory to wear a mask.
According to election authorities, more than 99 percent of the nearly 163,000 polling stations across the country could be set up normally. EFE