Mexico’s Lopez Obrador says mid-term losses won’t derail his program

Mexico City, Jun 7 (EFE).- President Andres Manuel Obrador said Monday that the outcome of mid-term elections in which his leftist Morena party lost ground while retaining its majority in the lower house of Mexico’s Congress will allow him to advance his agenda.

“Two distinct and opposed projects were on the ballot, especially in the federal election, and I am very grateful because as a result of this election the parties that sympathize with the project of transformation that is under way will have a majority in the House of Deputies,” he said at his daily press conference.

More than 93 million Mexicans were eligible to vote Sunday for offices ranging from mayor and city council to state governor and federal lawmaker.

While Morena got the most support of any party, its margin in Congress was reduced to the point that it will have to forge alliances to pass ambitious pieces of legislation such as constitutional amendments.

The returns from Sunday “express a rarely seen level, degree of political maturity,” the president, known as AMLO, told reporters.

“Or we could say never seen, because people voted not just for a party, for a candidate, they voted for a project, in one direction or the other,” he added.

Between Morena and its allies, the government will have a sufficient majority in the lower house to assure passage of a budget that meets the needs of Mexico’s poor, the president said.

“So, many thanks, many thanks to the entire people, to everyone who participated in this election,” AMLO said.

Preliminary data indicated that Morena will end up with between 190 and 203 of the 500 seats in the lower house, down from 253 at present.

But with the addition of lawmakers from the allied Labor Party and Green Party, the governing coalition is expected to have a majority in the range of 255 to 292 seats.

The campaign was marred by violence, mainly attributed to drug cartels and other elements of organized crime, and election day witnessed more incidents.

By turning out to vote in those circumstances, Mexicans “reaffirmed the path toward democracy,” AMLO said. “And that is fundamental, that we can resolve differences via the electoral route, the peaceful route.”

Morena candidates prevailed in most of the 15 state gubernatorial races, yet the party suffered a setback in its traditional bastion, Mexico City, losing a majority of the contests for leaders of the capital’s boroughs. EFE mqb/dr

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