Thursday, June 15, 2006

Obrador Gains Traction in Mexican Election

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the Party of the Democratic Revolution has regained his lead in the polls in the Mexican Presidential race. Obrador, who had led for two years prior to the election, overtook Nation Action Party's Felipe Calderon in polls released this week. A poll performed by the newspaper Reforma gives Obrador a 3.2% lead over the right-wing Calderon. Obrador has regained support upon news that his opponent gave out government contracts to relatives.

During his tenure as Mayor of Mexico City, Obrador positioned himself as a champion of the poor. Calderon, on the other hand, is a favorite of the business class and the Bush Administration. Calderon's only real tactics in the race seem to be ad hominem attacks and baseless accusations. Perhaps the attack that most damaged the Obrador camp most was the accusation that he was in bed with Hugo Chavez, despite the fact that there was no substance behind it. Calderon has also labeled Obrador a "radical" and a "socialist".

Even the conservative Financial Times is predicting a win for Obrador, which is a positive sign for Mexico's poor. We can also only hope that upon his election that Obrador will stop the campaign of violence against the poor in Chiapas and against the Zapatistas.