EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – The president of Mexico likely will lose a two-thirds majority in the Chamber of Deputies that allowed him to amend the constitution more than a dozen times in the past two years.
However, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s MORENA Party coalition still holds a simple majority in the Chamber of Deputies to pursue his populist agenda.
“What does this mean? It guarantees our budget,” Lopez Obrador said at a televised news conference on Monday. “It guarantees sufficient resources for those who need it the most: the poor, pensions for the elderly, for children with disabilities, for 11 million students from poor households, it guarantees free medications and that education remains a right, not a benefit like before.”
Lopez Obrador, popularly known in Mexico as “AMLO,” said multi-billion dollar projects such as the new Mexico City airport, the construction of two gasoline refineries and new railroad lines.
The president had a chart showing his political coalition likely won 184 of the 300 Chamber seats up for election. That’s more than a two-thirds majority. But because of a system called proportional representation that awards 200 seats in congress to parties based on what percentage of the population voted for them, the final tally for MORENA and allied parties is expected to be between 270-290 – less than the 312 or so votes they control now.
“If things were like before, we wouldn’t have these results,” the president said on Monday. “It’d be like before, 90-10 (for the ruling party) because the state used to invest money, lots of money. It was an election of the state (not the people). No more. This is the result of free participation,” Lopez Obrador said.
He said he was “very, very happy” with the election results and a voter participation rate above 50 percent that broke records for a mid-term.
In the state of Chihuahua, Maria Eugenia “Maru” Campos had a substantial lead over the MORENA candidate Monday morning. With about half of the precinct summary sheets counted – the individual votes are counted separately and take more time – Campos of the National Action Party (PAN) led Juan Carlos Loera with 44 percent of the vote compared to 35 percent.
In Juarez, MORENA candidate Cruz Perez Cuellar held a commanding 47 percent to 29 percent lead over PAN’s Javier Gonzalez Mocken. Preliminary estimates by the independent State Elections Institute showed MORENA also was also winning all but one congressional race in Juarez, but was losing in the rest of Chihuahua.
Official results are scheduled to be released after Wednesday, when district assemblies meet, a spokesperson for the institute said.