Mexican President survives recall vote amid low turnout

TEHRAN, Apr. 11 (MNA) – Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who was elected in 2018 for a six-year term ending 2024, won more than 90 percent of the votes in the “recall referendum”, according to initial projections.

Mexicans on Sunday cast their votes in an unprecedented referendum on a recall of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, which he managed to survive easily.

The 68-year-old left-wing populist, who was elected in 2018 for a six-year term ending 2024, won more than 90 percent of the votes in the “recall referendum”, according to initial projections.

However, less than two out of 10 eligible voters voted on whether the president should end his term midway or continue till the end, preliminary estimates from the National Electoral Institute showed.

The referendum offered two options to the voters: "He should be deprived of his mandate due to a lack of confidence" or "He should remain in the office of President of the Republic".

The turnout was between 17 and 18.2 percent, which means that even if Obrador had lost the referendum, the result would not have been legally binding.

The incumbent president hailed the result as “historic”, saying he was going to “continue serving until the last day of my term”.

“I'm not going to go past that because I'm a democrat and I'm not in favor of re-election," he said in a video message, hinting that he was not looking for re-election in 2024.

Mario Delgado, leader of the ruling Morena Party said voters had recognized Obrador's "dedication to the neediest and the enormous moral authority with which he governs.

"Only an indomitable, unwavering democrat like him can subject himself to a recall process," he noted.

Obrador’s supporters said it was a way of increasing democratic accountability, allowing voters to remove the president due to a loss of confidence.

"Now we have the chance to change what's not right. There have been presidents who, after being elected by the people, ended up serving other interests," Benigno Gasca, a 57-year-old mathematician, and musician was quoted as saying by AFP.

But his critics saw it as a publicity stunt and an unnecessary distraction from the challenges facing the country, including violence, poverty, and the rising cost of living.

"It's a useless exercise –– money thrown away," said Laura Gonzalez, a 62-year-old retired teacher.

Observers had predicted that Obrador's win in the referendum would give him and his party the much-needed impetus to pursue their stated policies, particularly in the field of energy reforms.

Political analyst Hernan Gomez Bruera was quoted as saying by AFP that the real litmus test will be in 2024 “when he leaves because no one seems capable of taking his leadership place."

Before the vote, Obrador had blamed the National Electoral Institute for sabotaging the referendum.

ZZ/PressTV

News Code 185580

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