Mexican leftist closes in on presidency

Mexico City: Fed up with rampant corruption and violence, Mexicans vote on Sunday in historic elections that look set to punish the political establishment and deliver the presidency to leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
Leading by more than 20 points in the polls, the sharp-tongued, silver-haired politician known as “AMLO” looks poised to become the next figure on the growing global list of anti-establishment candidates swept into office by a wave of popular discontent.
But there is also something uniquely Mexican in his message and the way it has resonated with voters.
Mexicans are angry over endemic corruption and horrific violence that left a record 25,000 murders last year — a record on track to be broken again this year in an orgy of bloodshed fuelled by the country’s powerful drug cartels. Many voters despise the two parties that have governed Mexico for nearly a century: the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the conservative National Action Party (PAN).
Lopez Obrador, 64, calls them both part of the same “mafia of power,” a message that resonated with many people — even if the former Mexico City mayor has been vague on what the change he promises will look like.
“The policies we’ve been applying for the past 30 years haven’t worked. We haven’t even had economic growth,” Lopez Obrador told supporters as he wrapped up his campaign on Wednesday.
“What’s grown is corruption, poverty, crime and violence. That’s why we’re going to send their policies to the dustbin of history.”
Judging by the polls, the PRI and PAN candidates — ex-finance minister Jose Antonio Meade and former speaker of Congress Ricardo Anaya, respectively — are struggling to sell that message. — AFP