The Real Winner of Mexico’s Midterm Elections Wasn’t on the Ballot

A voter casts his ballot at a polling place in Chilpancingo, Mexico, June 6, 2021 (AP photo by Fernando Llano).
A voter casts his ballot at a polling place in Chilpancingo, Mexico, June 6, 2021 (AP photo by Fernando Llano).

Mexico’s June 6 midterm elections were widely framed as a referendum on President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s statist makeover of the country’s institutions. In the hours after polls closed, headlines pointed to a defeat for the president’s party, Morena. But despite its losses in the lower house of Congress, the results had a number of bright spots for Morena and for AMLO, as Lopez Obrador is popularly known. On the other hand, there was one clear winner that wasn’t even on the ballot: the country’s electoral authority, the Instituto Nacional Electoral, or INE, which overcame significant challenges to successfully oversee […]

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