Mexico’s AMLO Is Anything but a Lame Duck

Mexico’s AMLO Is Anything but a Lame Duck
Outgoing Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks about judicial reforms during a news conference at the National Palace, in Mexico City, Mexico, June 19, 2024 (Sipa photo by Carlos Santiago via AP Images).

In last month’s elections, Mexican voters gave an enormous mandate to Morena, the ruling party of outgoing President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, or AMLO. The president’s preferred candidate to succeed him, Claudia Sheinbaum, won nearly 60 percent of the national vote, 30 points ahead of her nearest rival. The party and its coalition allies won more than two-thirds of the seats in the lower house of Congress and fell just three seats short of that proportion in the Senate, meaning that Morena is close to the supermajority in both houses needed to pass constitutional reforms.

The new Congress will convene Sept. 1, but Sheinbaum won’t be inaugurated until one month later. As a result, for that one month, AMLO will perhaps be the most powerful lame duck president in history. And while most presidents—at least those who aren’t desperately trying to hold onto power—spend their final month in office engaging in symbolic acts and managing the boring bureaucratic process of transferring power to their successor, AMLO will engage in one last attempt to rewrite the rules of Mexican democracy.

AMLO’s “Plan C”—so called because his two previous attempts at institutional reforms failed in Congress—will mandate the election of all judges, including Supreme Court justices, while further undermining the country’s independent electoral institutions and reducing the power of other regulatory agencies. The current Congress, in which Morena does not command a supermajority, previously blocked Lopez Obrador’s attempts to reform the constitution and, when that failed, to pass legislation to implement the same reforms—his Plan A and Plan B, respectively. Morena’s dominant position in the new Congress means the president has a strong chance to achieve his remaining goals in his final weeks in office.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.