Lopez Obrador elected Mexico’s new president with 53 per cent of vote

Front-running candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was one of the first lined up to vote at his polling place in Mexico City, and some of his supporters turned out early.

Lopez Obrador has said he would use economic development, job creation and educational opportunities to address the causes of crime, giving federal scholarships to students and creating employment programmes to keep vulnerable young people off the streets.

"I reiterate my promise to not betray your confidence which millions of Mexicans have placed in me".

"You'll all be watching out for me", he told a large hall packed with press during a lively, 35-minute back-and-forth that sharply contrasted with Pena Nieto's brief, tightly controlled appearances.

How the incoming Mexican president deals with the migration policy and Mr Trump's promise to "build the wall" between the two countries will determine the future of US-Mexico relations.

"Trump tweeted Sunday that "I look very much forward to working with him".

He lost the presidential election in 2006, called the results a fraud and spent weeks camping out in protest with thousands of his supporters in Mexico City.

Meanwhile, members of the business and political elite who fiercely opposed Lopez Obrador's populist candidacy pledged to support his presidency in a loyal opposition, and the largely orderly vote in which his rivals conceded defeat gracefully - and quickly - was hailed as a win for democracy in the country.

Partial vote counts also showed probable gubernatorial wins for allies of Lopez Obrador's Morena party in at least four of eight state races on the ballot plus for the head of government in Mexico City.

Lopez Obrador, the first leftist president since the end of one-party rule in 2000, won between 53 and 53.8% of votes. The nationalistic approach of the 20th century gave way to servile policies that readily responded to any whims of the US State Department. Lopez Obrador had been compared to Trump for his populist, nationalist rhetoric and sometimes touchy personality - as well as his past skepticism about the trade deal.

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After the Trump administration in May slapped hefty steel and aluminum tariffs on its allies, Mexico hit back with $3 billion worth of retaliatory levies on United States goods.

Lopez Obrador supporters began wild celebrations in Mexico City, cruising up and down the central Paseo de la Reforma boulevard honking horns to the tune of "Viva Mexico!" and waving Mexican flags from auto windows and moon roofs.

The peso declined as much as 1.3 percent after results of the Sunday elections signaled his Morena party was set to enjoy broad support in Congress.

"It's worth cautioning that we still have little clarity on Amlo's economic policies", said Edward Glossop, an economist at Capital Economics.

Nevertheless, the pair began by exchanging a series of messages that demonstrated an apparent will to establish a renewed "respectful" relationship between the countries.

Mr Lopez Obrador appears well liked by his people.

There also are question of whether he will be able to work with Trump on trade and immigration.

"The anger that the average Mexican feels toward the way things are being governed has favored Lopez Obrador", said Shannon O'Neil, senior fellow for Latin America Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

President Nieto, who took office in 2012, continued this trend, going out of his way to please his American counterparts.

Many voters say they are sick of both the PRI and the PAN, the parties that have governed Mexico for almost a century.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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