Monday, June 25, 2018

What happens if Lopez-Obrador loses in Mexico?

Image result for lopez obrador cartoons
Over the last two weeks, I’ve been on the phone or social media with many friends in Mexico. We usually narrow our talk to this:
1) Do you believe these polls showing Andrés Lopez-Obrador ahead?
and,
2) What if he loses? What happens then?
As of today, all of the experts have Lopez-Obrador winning the election. It’s the “3rd time it’s a charm” story, a reference to his two previous defeats in 2006 and 2012. The candidate said this: 
“This is going to be a peaceful, orderly change, but at the same time, it will be radical,” Lopez Obrador said recently, drawing cheers and cries of “Presidente! Presidente!” from a crowd in the colonial town of San Miguel de Allende..    
Despite the lead in the polls, most of my Mexican friends do not believe them. They cite a lot of good reasons, such as “no one answers political questions on the phone”.    
Others are a bit more humorous: Didn’t the experts say that Germany had a 90% chance of beating Mexico?   
Yes, they did!
What really worries my friends is this: What happens if he loses?   
Back in 2006, Lopez-Obrador shut down cities and even held an inauguration ceremony to proclaim himself “el presidente”.   
I remember people on the sidewalks of Mexico City protesting his defeat. It was bizarre, to say the least.
My friends say that it will be worse this time because Lopez-Obrador is convinced of victory. His supporters believe that only fraud can deny them their “turn.”
It may be a crazy summer down in Mexico. If he wins, the peso takes a hit. If he loses, the streets go crazy.
Last but not least, a Mexican friend told me that it was a lot more fun when elections were not contested. I don’t know if “one-party rule” was better but at least the ride to the airport was not delayed by demonstrations.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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