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POST TIME: 3 July, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Leftist ‘AMLO’ sweeps to Mexican presidency
AFP

Leftist ‘AMLO’ sweeps to Mexican presidency

MEXICO CITY: Anti-establishment leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador swept to victory in Mexico's presidential election Sunday, in a political sea change driven by voters' anger over endemic corruption and brutal violence, reports AFP.

The sharp-tongued, silver-haired politician known as "AMLO" won 53 percent of the vote, according to an official projection of the results.

It is the first time in Mexico's modern history a candidate has won more than half the vote in a competitive election, and a resounding rejection of the two parties that have governed the country for nearly a century.

"This is a historic day, and it will be a memorable night," Lopez Obrador said in a victory speech in Mexico City's Alameda park, as thousands of ecstatic supporters flooded the capital's central district, chanting "Yes we did!" and partying to mariachi music.

Lopez Obrador, 64, sought to downplay fears of radicalism, after critics branded him a "tropical Messiah" who would install Venezuela-style policies that could wreck Latin America's second-largest economy.

"Our new national project seeks an authentic democracy. We are not looking to construct a dictatorship, either open or hidden," he told cheering supporters, promising to safeguard freedoms, respect the private sector and work to reconcile a divided nation.

He also vowed to pursue a relationship of "friendship and cooperation" with the United States, Mexico's key trading partner -- a change in tone from some comments during the campaign, when he said he would put US President Donald Trump "in his place."