Monday, December 3, 2018
On December 1, AMLO Became the President of Mexico
By Allan Wall
On December 1st, 2018, Andres
Manuel Lopez Obrador became the President of Mexico. (Lopez Obrador is often referred to as AMLO, an acronym
formed by his initials.)
won the election this past July 1st, defeating three other candidates: Ricardo Anaya of a PAN-led coalition, Jose Antonio
Meade of a PRI-led coalition, and independent candidate Jaime Rodriguez Calderon, better known as Bronco.
AMLO ran as the standard-bearer of a coalition led by the MORENA party. (See Third Time's the Charm - AMLO Wins the Mexican Presidency.)
The 2018 election
was AMLO’s third presidential candidacy, having run in the two previous elections: 2006 and 2012, both times as standard-bearer
of the PRD, which in this past election was part of the PAN coalition.
But this time AMLO was triumphant, and overwhelmingly so, winning 53.19%
of the vote. In Mexican presidential elections, a candidate need only have a plurality, not a majority of the votes. But AMLO
won by commanding a clear majority.
Congressional elections were also held on July 1st, and the new Congress has been in
office since September 1st. (See The Mexican Congress and its Sixty-Fourth Legislature.) MORENA is the biggest party in Congress, and the AMLO coalition forms a majority in both chambers.
which he himself founded, is MORENA, an acronym for Movimiento Regeneración Nacional, the National
Regeneration Movement. The party was originally a cross-party organization, founded in 2011 to support
AMLO’s 2012 presidential campaign. MORENA was registered as a political party in 2014.
And now here it is, the most powerful party in the country.
Presidential elections are held every six years (as opposed to every four years in the
United States). Mexico has a five-month transitional period, and so although AMLO was elected July 1st,
he didn’t take office until December 1st.
So, on December 1st the change in administrations was made, with Enrique Peña Nieto (president
since 2012) stepping down and AMLO taking office.
As per custom, the actual change of administration took place in a ceremony held in the Mexican
Chamber of Deputies (Cámara de Diputados), Mexico's equivalent of the U.S. House of Representatives.
AMLO took the oath of office,
and the ceremonial presidential sash was transferred from outgoing President Enrique Peña Nieto to AMLO.
This was followed by a speech delivered by the new President Lopez Obrador.
The speech began with President AMLO’s proclamation
of the Cuarta Transformación, the “Fourth Transformation.”
Quoting the new Mexican President: “… we do not just initiate
a new government, but we begin a change of political regime. From now on a peaceful and orderly, but at the same time deep
and radical, transformation will be carried out.”
The “Fourth Transformation” of which the President speaks is a radical change
in Mexican politics and the economy, including an end to corruption, a more austere government and more help for needy Mexicans.
previous three historical transformations were Independence (1810-1821), La Reforma (1854-1861), and the Mexican
Revolution (1910-1920). AMLO is planning for his Fourth Transformation to be on the level of the previous
The new presidential
website is up (click here) and this historical association is evident on the new symbol of the government at the top of the website.
It portrays five historical Mexican figures with whom AMLO identifies: Jose Morelos and Miguel Hidalgo of the Independence
period, Benito Juarez of the Reforma period, Francisco Madero of the Revolution, and Lazaro Cardenas, president from
is a visionary indeed, and his new presidency looks to be an interesting one. I wish him and his new administration
thing: Regarding that five-month transitional period I discussed earlier, that is scheduled to change. As
a result of the 2014 political reform, Article 83 of the Mexican Constitution was amended in 2017 to reduce the presidential
transition period from five months to three months.
So according to this change, in 2024, when AMLO is scheduled to complete his presidential term,
he will step down in favor of the next president, not on December 1st but on October 1st.
Thus, the new presidential transition
period is to be three months rather than five months.
And since this presidential term will be shortened to adapt the new schedule, that means
that AMLO’s term, rather than being a full six years, should be five years and ten months.
(See López Obrador, el presidente que estará menos de 6 años en el poder ).
Allan Wall, an educator, resided in Mexico for many years. His website is located at http://www.allanwall.info.