Gubernatorial elections in three Mexican states last Sunday were supposed to show Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s viability as a candidate in next year’s presidential race. Instead they checked the ambitions of the brash left-leaning populist aiming to succeed outgoing President Enrique Pena Nieto in 2018. Lopez Obrador’s party, the National Regeneration Movement, known as MORENA, lost in all three states.
He’s now calling for a recount in the key race in Mexico state, the country’s most populous by a wide margin. Blaming tough election losses on fraud has been a familiar tactic for the fiery two-time presidential candidate who Mexicans know as AMLO.
Alfredo del Mazo of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) won in Mexico state with 34 percent of the vote, defeating MORENA’s candidate, Delfina Gomez, a former teacher, by three points. In the northern border state of Coahuila, the PRI’s candidate also scored a narrow victory, while a coalition candidate representing the center-right National Action Party (PAN) and the center-left Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) notched an easy win in the Pacific coastal state of Nayarit.