Can left-wing president turn Mexico around?

The Mexicans have elected Andrés Manuel López Obrador as their new president. The left-wing politician won 53 percent of the vote and has promised to end the drug war and fight corruption and poverty. Journalists believe López Obrador may have what it takes to tackle Mexico's problems - and hold his own against the country's powerful neighbour.

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El Periódico de Catalunya (ES) /

Long overdue change of direction

López Obrador faces a historic task, El Periódico de Catalunya observes:

“The shift to the left is a true revolution in a country that urgently needs a change of direction that puts an end to the corruption, drug trafficking, violence and poverty that are driving thousands of Mexicans to attempt to cross the border to the US each day, regardless of the consequences. The fact that more than 130 politicians were killed during the election campaign is an indication of how the country has been plunged into an abyss. ... López Obrador now faces the difficult task of not disappointing the people, who at last see a glimmer of hope.”

Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE) /

López Obrador could even impress Trump

The Süddeutsche Zeitung suspects the new president will prove to be a tough opponent for Donald Trump:

“López Obrador is a classic left-wing politician who believes in Keynesian economics and redistribution, who wants to boost the incomes of the working class, is critical of privatisation and is pushing for trade policy to have a social component. This is likely to lead to conflicts in the negotiations on the Nafta free trade agreement with the US and Mexico. ... On top of that López Obrador is a fighter with a big ego. He knows how to whip up enthusiasm among the masses, he's a populist, his opponents say. He's not easily intimidated: he has lost two elections - and won on the third attempt. These are all things that could impress the likes of Donald Trump.”

Aftonbladet (SE) /

What Sweden can learn from Mexico

López Obrador's announcement of a "softer" style in fighting crime has gone down well in Mexico, Aftonbladet comments, stressing that even if Sweden is one of the safest countries in the world it can still learn from Mexico on this point:

“In the run-up to the parliamentary elections in September law and justice are recurring topics and the demand for a tough line is dominating the debate. [Conservative opposition leader] Ulf Kristersson is calling for harsher punishment, residence bans for criminals, and banning support for anti-democratic organisations. ... Such measures may work for a limited time, but the example of Mexico shows that clamping down cannot offer long-term solutions to democratic problems and a lack of security.”