The five official candidates for Mexico’s presidency will take part in their first national debate, which will be live streamed on Telesur's website and Facebook.
The candidates: independents - Jaime Rodriguez and Margarita Zavala Gomez del Campo; Jose Antonio Meade of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI); Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador from the Morena party; and Ricardo Anaya from the coalition, For Mexico to the Front - will all take the stage tonight at the Mining Palace in Mexico City to answer moderator questions and debate in their first of three live engagements.
According to a poll released last week by La Reforma newspaper, Obrador is well ahead with 48 percent of voter support. This is the leftist favorite’s third presidential run who says he’s "Bewitched, haunted" by the level of government corruption and is hoping to change that trend. He has been informally campaigning since last year, even though presidential candidates weren’t officially allowed to register and campaign since March 30.
Thirty nine year old Anaya who is leading the three conservative parties - National Action Party (PAN), Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) and the Citizens Movement, already announced himself the "winner of the 2018 debate" last Thursday via Twitter even though he’s in a far away second with 26 of potential voter support, according to the same poll.
Meade (PRI), who is trying to cast himself as the new face of his party that 59 percent of the population want out of office, ranks in 3rd place with 18 percent of popular support.
"For now, this is looking like a landslide, not a close race," Miguel Toro, political consultant fo the Woodrow Wilson Center Mexico Institute, tells the Dallas News.
The Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), whose candidate, Maria de Jesus Patricio Martinez - known as Marichuy - didn’t make it to the debate stage, says supports Obrador who, it says will win, but won’t make it to the Mexican presidency.
Candidates are allowed to campaign until June 27, days before the population goes to the polls on July 1.