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López Obrador wins landslide victory in Mexican presidential race

By Ray Downs
López Obrador wins landslide victory in Mexican presidential race
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, from Movimiento Regeneracion Nacional (Morena), greets supporters at the Hilton Hotel in Mexico City after his election victory Sunday. Photo by Mario Guzman/EPA-EFE

July 2 (UPI) -- Mexican presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador won a landslide election victory Sunday.

Running on a campaign that promised to stop corruption and reduce poverty, López Obrador won more than 53 percent of the vote, which was more than twice that of the second-place finisher in a race with several candidates. For the first time in more than 20 years, a winning candidate won more than half the country's vote.

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"Today, they have recognized our victory," López Obrador, known by his initials AMLO, told supporters in Mexico City, where he used to serve as mayor.

Those who voted for López Obrador, a left-leaning politician in the Movimiento Regeneracion Nacional, or Morena Party, hope he can bring a change of pace to a country that has been mired in drug war violence, political corruption and crippling poverty in rural areas for several years.

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"It is time for a change, it's time to go with López Obrador, and see what happens," Juan de Dios Rodríguez, a 70-year-old farmer, told The New York Times.

López Obrador is set to take the reins of the country on Dec. 1, when Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto steps down due to the country's one-term limit for presidents.

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U.S. President Donald Trump recognized López Obrador's victory in a tweet Sunday night.

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"Congratulations to Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on becoming the next President of Mexico. I look very much forward to working with him. There is much to be done that will benefit both the United States and Mexico!" Trump wrote.

During his campaign, López Obrador was critical of Trump's rhetoric on immigration and accused the U.S. president of attempting to "persecute migrants workers."

In August 2017, López Obrador also wrote a book titled, Oye, Trump [Listen Up , Trump], in which he documents his time traveling to the United States earlier that year to learn about the plight of migrant workers from Mexico and other countries in Latin America, while accusing Trump of spreading "Hispanophobia" among Americans.

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While López Obrador might be critical of Trump on immigration, the two might have more in agreement on trade, especially the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Like Trump, López Obrador has been highly critical of NAFTA, arguing it's a bad deal for his own country and needs to be renegotiated.

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This kind of rhetoric helped López Obrador win over many working class voters.

"He's the only one who comes to defend us, while others are just filling their pockets," Leonel Hernandez, 35, a restaurant dishwasher who migrated to the United States 10 years ago., told the Wall Street Journal.

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