MEXICO CITY – Mexican presidential pre-campaigns end on Sunday without any clear proposals from the candidates or changes in the polls, which continue to put left-leaning Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador ahead, analysts told EFE on Saturday.
The 59-day pre-campaigns have been marked more by the criticizing and disparaging of rivals rather than by the depth of the candidates’ proposals, Mexican researcher Jose Antonio Crespo, of the Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE), told EFE.
He said that personal attacks are common in electoral campaigns throughout the world, although in Mexico they can “go very low.”
Much of the focus during the pre-campaigns was on Lopez Obrador’s announcement that he would consider a possible amnesty for members of organized-crime gangs after consulting with the victims, so as to end a drug war that has left over 150,000 dead over the past decade.
Lopez Obrador heads up a coalition that includes his National Regeneration Movement (Morena), the Labor Party (PT) and the Social Encounter Party (PES).
The supposed support of Venezuela’s leftist president, Nicolas Maduro, whose country is battling a severe economic crisis and who is accused by his opponents of being a dictator, and suspicions that Russia might attempt to operate in his favor have fueled criticism of Lopez Obrador’s candidacy.
Ricardo Anaya, second in the polls, is the candidate of a coalition comprising the National Action Party (PAN), the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), and the Citizens’ Movement Party (MC).
Suspicion has grown about his possible involvement in corrupt dealings, including allegations that he operated a now-defunct foundation for his own benefit.
The other main candidate is Jose Antonio Meade, who is the standard bearer of a coalition that includes the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the Ecologist Green Party of Mexico (PVEM) and the New Alliance party.
A former member of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration, he has been a target of criticism for, among other things, his alleged role in gasoline price hikes in January 2017 and his not having detected or denounced corruption from his different Cabinet positions.
According to Crespo, Lopez Obrador is the nominee who has most consistently put forth his proposals, which have already been presented in several books authored by the candidate.
“It is not clear what Anaya and Meade will do,” said Crespo, although he said that two proposals that stand out are a plan for universal basic income put forth by Anaya and anticorruption measures touted by Meade.
The candidates now must pause their public campaigning until the the main campaign season kicks off on March 30.
Mexico’s single-round presidential election will be held on July 1.