Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador drew thousands in a march to celebrate the fifth anniversary of his election victory.
Supporters filled the Zocalo main square in downtown Mexico City, which can hold more than 100,000 people, for his speech Saturday. The president was flanked by his entire cabinet, as well as members of Congress and governors from his party, Morena.
AMLO, as the president is known, recapped his main achievements as the country’s leader, highlighting his fight against corruption, his measured government spending, and key infrastructure projects like the Maya Train.
He said his government plans for Mexico to be self-sufficient in fuel and will stop imports of it next year. AMLO also boasted about the strength of the local currency against the dollar and his government’s ability to control inflation.
“Our government is stronger than ever,” he said. “A broad majority is with us. The pact worked. The pact between the people and their government.”
The rally took place as the ruling party, Morena, holds a three-month internal race to pick a successor for the charismatic AMLO, in a pivot from a historical process in which a sitting president would handpick his party’s candidate. Morena’s selection of a leader will include a series of polls to determine who voters prefer.
Read More: Mexico Poll Sees AMLO’s Main Succession Candidates Tied
Buses flooded the capital on Saturday, bringing supporters from various states across Mexico. People spilled into nearby streets across several blocks, holding signs and flags, with many dressed in burgundy, the official color of the president’s party. AMLO’s hour-long speech was interrupted near the end by heavy rain and some followers left to find shelter, while others stayed put with umbrellas and raincoats.
Among the AMLO supporters at the gathering was Francisco Javier Martinez, 66, a pensioner from San Luis Potosi who used to work at the country’s mint and who traveled with friends by bus to be at the rally.
“I have to show support and to show those that don’t want the president to succeed that we stand together, that we have muscle,” he said. “Because I’m a pensioner, this president changed my daily life, but I’ve also seen how his welfare programs have helped others in my community.”
Roberto Zaldivar, 78, a Mexico City resident who works in the manufacturing of metal products, brought his wife, daughter, two sons, granddaughter, and nephew with him to the rally. He said he was hoping for continuity after AMLO’s term ends.
“After so many years of seeking a change, it’s finally here. Now we really want the transformation to carry on,” Zaldivar said.
AMLO will remain president until next year. He said Friday that he expected the rally to be one of the “last ones” in his remaining time in office.
Source: El Financiero