Mexico will hold their general election this Sunday July first to select not only their new President of the United States of Mexico, but also a new head of government and 16 mayors for Mexico city, 8 state governors for the states of Guanajuato, Jalisco, Morelos, Puebla, Chiapas, Tabasco, Yucatan and Veracruz. 1580 municipal presidents in 24 states, 128 new senators of the republic and 500 new deputies.
The electoral process that began on September of last year, which has been one of the bloodiest in Mexican history, now summons more than 88 million of citizens to do their duty and elect the people that will hold these positions of power.
Out of all the positions that will be voted on this July 1st, it is without a doubt that the race for the Mexican presidency is the most important and controversial of them all, with four candidates that have prevailed out of the initial phases of the race, and one will take the Palace tomorrow.
The acts of violence of this year’s election amount to 130 murders, 27 of which were candidates for several positions, and 540 reports of direct aggression against political actors, according to a report made by Etellekt, a consultant company.
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a 64 year old man and former mayor of Mexico City, he’s making his third consecutive attempt to take the presidency, backed by the party Morena, which he founded, the labor party and “Encuentro”. Obrador has made his presidential campaign on plans such as ending the military approach to the war on drugs by offering amnesty to criminal gang members and offering more opportunities to rural communities in order to dis-incentivize crime. Eliminate the pensions that go to former presidents, cutting the presidential salary by half, along with more salary cuts to other top officials. Investigating and if the situation merits it, scrapping several reforms and contracts made under the administration of soon-to-be Ex-president Enrique Peña Nieto, such as the controversial Education reform made in the beginnings of Nieto´s administration, which demanded that the teachers of public sector pass several aptitude exams to be cleared to teach, Obrador claims that the reform was unfair for the teachers, and will look for new avenues alongside his voters. He has promised to redirect federal government spending equivalent to 4.1 percent of gross domestic product to infrastructure and priority social programs, without new taxes or increasing the national debt. As for corruption, Obrador has taken to call the current politicians the “Mafia of power” and vowed to eradicate them, as well as eliminate presidential immunity in matters of corruption. Obrador protested heavily to the treatment of illegal immigrants in the US following a wave of propaganda falsely depicting Mexican children locked in cramped cages, he demanded President Enrique Peña Nieto take three immediate actions against the “Inhumane, Racist, and arrogant” US government, as for NAFTA, he said he would protect it, but it’s collapse would not be fatal to Mexico
Ricardo Anaya, the 39 year old candidate leading a coalition of “For Mexico in Front”, consisting of the parties of PAN (National Action Party) Party of Democratic Revolution and the Citizens’ Movement. Anaya is the former president of Pan and youngest candidate for the presidency, he has faced criticism in the Mexican press for his family’s “inexplicable” wealth, allegations that have opened the doors to investigations of corruption, although he denies wrongdoing.
In the issue of violence in the country, Anaya has promised to double the size of the Federal Police, create a Ministry of Citizen Security., promote cooperation with the US to curb the flow of arms to Mexico, and the promotion of job opportunities, culture, education and sports.
In corruption, he vows to eliminate immunity in all levels of government, and create an Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office.
He promised to increase the minimum wage to a 100 pesos, and tackle the issue of gender gap pay, and proposes a Universal Basic Income that would allocate 10,000 pesos per year to every Mexican. This would be provided by consolidating funds from federal, state and municipal welfare programs.
he also promised to stand firm against US president Donald Trump in issues like NAFTA and promised to protect Mexicans working in the US, as well as “Dreamers”.
He said he was open to lowering taxes on private equity funds and reducing regulations limiting investments by the country’s pension funds
In education, he backed the reform made by the current administration, but said the implementation was inadequate, he also said that education needed to be modernized, giving students in all levels access to tablets or cellular phones,
Promotion of Solar energy in small and medium sized companies.
José Antonio Meade, the 49 year old former finance minister, as well as having performed in five different ministerial jobs under PRI and PAN governments, he is considered a clean politician, with a career absent of corruption scandals, but was little known to the public eye until he joined the presidential career.
In contrast to Obrador, he was very much opposed to the amnesty proposition in the debates, proposing instead a single criminal code for theft, extortion, homicide and femicide in all states.
He too wants the end of political immunity in all levels of government, and wants the integration of the Tax Administration Service, the Ministry of Finance and the National Electoral Institute into the National Anticorruption System.
Wants to extend social security to cover domestic workers and protect the reforms and contracts of the current administration, and vowed to fight the inequality and gender pay gap by setting up a credit program to support women starting their own businesses.
Like Obrador and Anaya, he vowed to fight against the US in issues like NAFTA and the recent tariffs.
Jaime Rodriguez Calderon, the 60 year old former governor of Nuevo Leon, nicknamed “El Bronco” is an independent candidate with quite a blunt approach when it comes to speaking, sparking admiration in his supporters and criticism in his opponents. He was fined by Mexico’s electoral authority INE for allegedly raising almost $700,000 in illicit campaign funds, Rodriguez denied wrongdoing.
In violence, he announced he would create a cybernetic police force that answers directly to the president, and consult local and international experts on matters of security. Another proposal that caused quite a stir in the public was his inclination to chopping off the hands of those who rob, including public officials.
He aims to be rid of the Ministry of Social Development, tasked with combating poverty, arguing that it doesn’t combat poverty but increases it.
He also wants to eliminate government handouts, arguing that they promote a lazy populace, as well as increasing the minimum wage to 350 pesos per day and decrease taxes.
He backs existing energy and education reforms, adding free transport for students and free high schools.
In the matter of the US, he said he would invite President Trump to the US and chat, and proposed the creation of a new free trade agreement between the north and the south of Mexico, saying NAFTA should not be a priority.