MEXICO CITY – One of the chief strategists for Mexican presidential front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told EFE that the candidate offers the country a historic opportunity to end the corruption, impunity and violence of recent decades.
“This election is about a regime change,” and only massive electoral fraud can prevent it, Marti Batres, who is seeking a Senate seat in the July 1 general election, said.
“We’re wary because we know our opponents are very crooked and because the democratic tradition of Western Europe doesn’t exist in Mexico,” he added, warning about the possibility of votes disappearing or not being counted on election day.
The polls show Lopez Obrador – candidate of a coalition headed by his National Regeneration Movement (Morena) party who is making his third presidential bid – with a nearly 20 percentage-point lead over conservative Ricardo Anaya, who represents an alliance led by the center-right National Action Party (PAN).
The candidate of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which has dominated Mexican politics for much of the past century, remains stuck in third place.
Even though the PAN won a historic presidential victory in 2000 that ended 71 years of uninterrupted rule by the PRI, Batres said there was no difference between the two parties.
The fact that Meade served as finance secretary for both ex-President Felipe Calderon of the PAN and the current administration headed by the PRI’s Enrique Peña Nieto makes this clear, according to the strategist.
Those two parties “also are responsible for an 80 percent loss in the purchasing power of salaries and the inequality” between rich and poor.
Fears surrounding a possible rise to the presidency by Lopez Obrador, who is depicted in some media outlets as Mexico’s equivalent to late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, are totally unfounded and part of a premeditated smear campaign, according to Batres.
Although the candidate has said he will review private contracts signed following a recent energy overhaul to ensure they were not tainted by corruption, Batres stressed that Lopez Obrador would promote private investment.
In that regard, the strategist said the Morena leader had already succeeded in attracting record levels of private and foreign investment during his 2000-2005 tenure as Mexico City mayor.