AMLO’s sad night


If the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), were a normal politician, he would have to celebrate the result of yesterday’s midterm elections: in the midst of an economic crisis, violence, corruption and health, the electoral alliance headed by her party, Morena, she managed to maintain a simple majority in the Chamber of Deputies – according to preliminary results – and it seems that she will win the vast majority of the 15 governorships at stake. For any president in the world, faced with a country in crisis, an electoral result like this would be a success.

But AMLO is anything but a normal politician. He does not accept that his government is going badly, despite the fact that all the figures point in that direction, and he also assumes himself as the only legitimate representative of the “people.” With these parameters, the result of the midterm election this Sunday 6 is a stumbling block: it leaves its project with at least 50 less deputies, without the qualified majority that would allow it to change the Constitution at will.

This result breaks the narrative. And for AMLO, narrative is everything: he spends two hours a day holding a mock press conference in which he talks about imaginary achievements of his government and how he embodies what he calls the “people.” At dawn on Monday 7, it will be necessary to recognize that a part of that town is no longer with him and has preferred to prescribe a counterweight in the Chamber of Deputies, which although it will not be able to stop it completely, it will complicate the route. The people spoke loud and clear: turnout was the highest for a midterm election in the 21st century.

In addition, the new composition of the Chamber will leave the president exposed: to obtain a simple majority (which will help him to approve budgets and laws) he will have to make use of his allies from the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico, who this weekend used influencers to break the electoral ban and carry a loss of prestige for years: it is made up of an elite that has become a multimillionaire thanks to their sagacity to sell their votes to the president in turn, who in return gives them money and impunity.

For a president who is presumed different from those of the past, and even morally superior, the indispensable alliance with the Green Party leaves him morally lame. On the other hand, for the Green Party, it represents the invaluable opportunity to sell their votes dearly to AMLO… or to another. Because if we know anything about the Green Party, it is that their loyalties are temporary. The challenge for Morena and AMLO will be to maintain cohesion with their allies, no matter how unpresentable and ductile they may be. Especially because AMLO did not even have the bet of inserting two new satellite parties in the political arena that would facilitate the majority: none reached the minimum vote to survive.

During the election night three years ago, after his victory, AMLO packed the Zócalo, the main square of Mexico City. It was a whirlwind of power to which almost the entire country surrendered. On Sunday night, the Zócalo was empty.

The president considers himself the protagonist of a heroic deed that does not pay attention to trifles as the result of an election, so it is foreseeable that he will not slow down. Losing fifty deputies does not make him a paper president. He will continue to be very strong and will continue to exercise power without tolerance, with closed ears to anyone who tries to contradict him.

AMLO has embarked on the path that leads to authoritarianism, to dictatorship. It is still far from reaching the destination. What happened this Sunday does not derail him or force him to stop, but it does put obstacles on the road.

The opposition, lost during the middle of the labor administration, has found its place. The headwind is already blowing differently. But it is not to celebrate either: in the face of a government that has failed miserably, they only managed to prevent the qualified majority from winning in the Chamber of Deputies.

This new legislative counterweight does not guarantee, because it is not robust enough, that AMLO will not continue with his impulse to advance towards the country of one man: seizing, whipping, or disappearing autonomous organizations, the Supreme Court of Justice, civil society organizations or the critical press, among others.

But what there is, as of last night, is more muscle to resist him.


Mexico Daily Post