MEXICO CITY – Leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the frontrunner in opinion polls, was subjected over the weekend to fierce scrutiny by his rivals in the first debate of the five candidates for the Mexican presidency, who spoke mostly about crime and corruption.
“They’re all against me, just piling on,” Lopez Obrador said on Sunday night when he saw himself being hammered by his rivals’ arguments against him, above all for his plan to grant amnesty to criminals serving prison sentences for acts of violence or drug trafficking.
Throughout the 120 minutes of the debate, held at the Palace of Mines in Mexico City, the candidates aimed their criticisms at the hopeful of the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA), who appeared very confident of victory since he was running 20 points ahead of Ricardo Anaya, the coalition candidate of the National Action Party (PAN), the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) and the Citizens Movement.
The candidates Jose Antonio Meade, Ricardo Anaya, Margarita Zavala and Jaime Rodriguez presented plans meant to be in sharp contrast with the supposed inconsistencies of Lopez Obrador’s proposals.
Their offers were as varied as the promise to maintain support for the army and navy by Meade, Anaya and Zavala, to that of cutting off the hand “of anyone in public service who steals” from the coffers of the state, by the independent Jaime Rodriguez.
Mexicans on social media constantly mocked the electoral debate of the presidential candidates for the election next July 1.
The hashtag #DebateINE trended all night on Twitter, with numerous tweets about the arguments among leftist Lopez Obrador, conservative Anaya, the ruling party’s Meade and independents Zavala and Rodriguez.
The social networks were flooded with comments and satirical photographic montages making fun of particular details of the electoral debate.