The leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena) managed to retain the House of Representatives, although it will depend much more on its allies, according to preliminary results.
Although they were legislative and local elections, this Sunday’s elections in Mexico were interpreted as a plebiscite to the figure of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, whose party managed to retain the majority in the House of Representatives, although it lost the capacity to reform the Constitution.
According to the preliminary results of the National Electoral Institute, the leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena) was the winner of the largest elections in the country’s history, in which the House of Representatives renewed 15 of 32 governors, 30 local congresses and more than 1,900 city councils.
The President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, celebrated on Monday the results obtained in the mid-term elections because, in his opinion, they will allow him to continue with his transformation project. “Two projects were voted for, different and opposing. Especially in the federal election and I am very grateful because as a result of this election, the parties that sympathize with the transformation project that is in progress will have a majority in the House of Representatives”, said the President.
Comfortable majority in the House of Representatives
The projections give Morena, a party created in the image and likeness of López Obrador, between 190 and 203 of the 500 seats in the Lower House. Although fewer deputies than the 253 it currently holds, if it joins its allies, the Labor Party (PT) and the Green Party (PVEM), it would manage to surpass the absolute majority barrier (251), with between 255 and 292.
If these results are confirmed, President López Obrador will continue to enjoy an absolute majority in the second half of his mandate to continue the “fourth transformation” of Mexico that he claims to promote. But the possibility of making reforms to the Constitution, whose approval requires two thirds of the deputies, i.e., 334 seats, is complicated.
This left with a bittersweet taste the unprecedented opposition coalition “Va por México”, which in order to defeat López Obrador had brought together the parties that had once shared power and obtained between 181 and 213 seats.
Specifically, the right-wing National Action Party (PAN) won between 106 and 117, the former ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) between 63 and 75, and the left-wing Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) between 12 and 21.
For its part, the liberal Movimiento Ciudadano (MC), which is not part of any coalition, emerged as the great hinge party of the next legislature, winning between 20 and 27 seats.
Aware of what was at stake and in spite of the fact that the law prevents him from doing so, Lopez Obrador actively participated in the campaign through his morning press conferences, which resulted in a harsh confrontation with the Electoral Institute.
New states added
The other major contest of the day was played out in 15 of the 32 state governments of the country. Just at the closing of the polling stations, both the ruling party and the opposition proclaimed themselves winners in most of the regions. But hours later, the projections of the Electoral Institute gave Morena the victory in Baja California Sur, Colima, Guerrero, Tlaxcala, Sinaloa, Sonora, Nayarit and Zacatecas.
Guerrero was in the spotlight during the campaign, since Morena had to withdraw its candidate Felix Salgado Macedonio, accused of rape, due to irregularities, and replaced him with his daughter, Evelyn Salgado.
The electoral authority also projected that the opposition alliance retained the conservative districts of Campeche and Chihuahua and that the Green Party won San Luis Potosí, while Baja California, Michoacán and Campeche continue to be disputed. In addition, Samuel García (MC) won in industrialized Nuevo León, the most populated state of those at stake and the crown jewel of these elections.
If the results are confirmed, Morena replaces the PRI as the party that controls the most territories, in addition to those already under its control: Mexico City, Puebla, Chiapas, Veracruz and Tabasco.
Calm day after the violence
After experiencing the most violent electoral campaign in its history, Mexicans voted in a climate of almost total normality, with the exception of a few isolated incidents and the omnipresent pandemic of covid-19, for which the use of masks was mandatory. According to the electoral authorities, more than 99% of the almost 163,000 polling stations throughout the country were installed normally.
The election was preceded by a violent campaign with the presence of organized crime that left more than 910 aggressions against politicians, surpassing the record of 2018, and 91 were murdered, 36 of which were candidates.
In spite of some lurid events on Sunday, such as the throwing of two human heads in polling stations in Tijuana, the OAS observer mission declared that no “serious incidents” were detected that would compromise the election and its results.