Mexican President Obrador wins referendum to stay in office
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador wins a referendum on whether he should remain in office or step down amid poor voter turnout.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador won a referendum on Sunday on whether he should remain and complete his term or step down, according to preliminary results showing a poor voter turnout.
Around 93 million Mexicans were invited to participate in this referendum, which didn't pose any danger to Obrador's presidency as he has an approximate 60 percent support rate.
The 68-year-old president, who was elected in 2018 for a six-year term, received a majority of between 90.3 and 91.9 percent of voters who supported his continuation in office until 2024, according to a preliminary vote count by the National Electoral Institute.
The participation rate ranged between 17 and 18.2 percent, which means that even if he loses, the result will not be legally binding.
Sunday's referendum comes two months before the election of governors for six states (out of 32), in which the president's party hopes to strengthen its electoral base. This party is also looking forward to the next presidential elections in 2024.
Opponents suspect that President Obrador relies on the referendum to plan his re-election, a taboo in Mexico long ago called the "Proveriato". At that time, President Porfirio Diaz remained in power for nearly 30 years, from 1884 to 1911, while the Mexican constitution provides for only one presidential term of 6 years.
Halfway through his term, the president is credited with taking some reformist social measures such as a significant increase in the minimum wage for the benefit of 6.3 million workers, according to the presidency.
He also launched his first major project; The new Mexico City International Airport, which is currently used for domestic flights only.
In the face of the pandemic and economic recession of 2020 (-8.4%), the leftist president was committed to an austerity policy that rejects any debt. The peso appears resilient in the face of the dollar, against the backdrop of record inflation in 20 years, which reached more than 7% in 2021.