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the president gathers hundreds of thousands of supporters in the streets to defend his policies

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This is a first for decades: the Mexican President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, on Sunday November 27, caused a tide of people in the streets of Mexico City in support of his policy, his spokesman claiming more than a million people, with the 2024 elections in sight.

Nationalist leftist ‘AMLO’, nearly 60% popular according to opinion polls, took more than five hours to walk four kilometers to the iconic Zocalo square, surrounded by a huge crowd of supporters .

Reached by Agence France-Presse, the spokesperson for the presidency, Jesus Ramirez claimed “1.2 million” of protesters on “nine kilometers” in total. No independent estimate was available. It is the first time that a Mexican president in office has taken the lead of a demonstration since Lazaro Cardenas (1934-1940), according to the site of the Spanish newspaper El Pais which quotes historians, political scientists and academics.

“No to re-election! »

At the end of the march, the president presented the account of his four years in power in front of tens of thousands of people on Zocalo shouting at him ” You are not alone ! ». “No to re-election! », he launched at their entrance, as if to dispel any hope that he clings to power. The Constitution only provides for a single presidential term of six years.

“First the poor”, “minimum wage increase”budgetary austerity, without creating “new debts” : the president detailed for an hour his policy which he presents as a break with more than 30 years of “neoliberalism”. Among other things, he asked the United States to stop any hostile policy towards Mexicans who work legally on the other side of the border.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers In Mexico, the president seeks to strengthen his legitimacy at mid-term

Throughout the day, AMLO, 69, was followed by demonstrators often brought by bus from states in the interior of the country (Veracruz, Guerrero, etc.). Proof of the mobilization capacity of the ruling party, the Mouvement for national regeneration (Morena), at the head of more than half of the 32 states with his allies.

“He has done what no president has done for the poor, even if he has to improve some points, such as insecurity”estimated during the march to Agence France-Presse, Ramon Suarez, an electrician. “I like AMLO’s way of governing”enthused Alma Perez, a 35-year-old educator from the state of Guerrero (south).

“I don’t listen to the criticisms that are made of him. For example, the violence did not start with him”, she added, in reference to the tens of thousands of homicides that Mexico continues to record each year (33,308 in 2021). Two weeks ago, tens of thousands of people marched in Mexico City against an electoral reform project.

“Show your muscles”

Willingly dividing to maintain the “polarization” political, the president had felt that his adversaries were in fact defending “racism, classism and corruption”. He wants “show your muscles”believes Fernando Dworak, analyst at the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico (ITAM), joined by Agence France-Presse. “The opposition made a big mistake believing they could defeat the president on the street”he continued.

Sunday’s mobilization comes less than two years from the presidential election of 2024. Two possible dolphins of the president walked with him, the mayor of Mexico City Claudia Sheinbaum and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard. The president did not name any names in his speech. Buoyed by the popularity of its leader, Morena is in a position of strength against an opposition bloc which brings together the PRI, the former party in power for 70 years, the PAN (right) and the PRD (left).

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers In Mexico, President “AMLO” mobilizes the private sector against inflation

This alliance has recently split, before regaining its unity against the electoral reform project. The reform claims that the members of the National Electoral Institute (INE) are elected, and no longer chosen by the parties.

Its detractors accuse AMLO of wanting to put an end to the” independence “ of the INE, which has overseen the organization of the elections since its creation in 1990. The opposition also accuses the Mexican president of authoritarianism and of wanting “militarize” the country.

AMLO has in fact entrusted the army with several major projects as well as public security tasks in a country that is unable to emerge from the violence of drug trafficking.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers How President “AMLO” militarizes Mexico

In his speech, the president justified the controversial passage of the National Guard under the tutelage of the army “so that it is not a victim of corruption, as with the former federal police”.

The World with AFP

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