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Mexico’s popular president reaches out to his base

#Mexicos #popular #president #reaches #base

Mexico’s popular president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is set to speak at an event Saturday that will give the leftist nationalist a chance to rally his base a year before his successor is to be elected.

The rally marks the 85th anniversary of the nationalization of the oil industry, a key event in Mexican history.

“We must reaffirm our independence, our sovereignty — remember this historic decision,” said AMLO, as the president is known.

He was referring to the expropriation of 17 foreign companies decreed on March 18, 1938 by President Lazaro Cardenas.

Cardenas is also known for having granted asylum to Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky (assassinated in 1940 in Mexico City by a Stalinist agent) and to Spanish Republicans fleeing the Franco dictatorship.

Saturday’s rally comes three weeks after an opposition demonstration against AMLO’s electoral reform approved by Congress.

The reform threatens the National Electoral Institute (INE), which organizes elections, opposition and some civil society leaders say. They have announced appeals to the Supreme Court.

The United States voiced concern about the impact of the reform on the independence of powers in Mexico. Lopez Obrador slammed the remarks as meddling. 

Despite approval ratings above 60 percent, the president must leave power at the end of a single six-year mandate, as provided by the Constitution. 

Buoyed by his popularity, his Movement for National Regeneration (Morena) is widely favored to stay in power. 

Still unclear is who will stand for Morena in 2024. Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum and Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard are the favorites.

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