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  • Mexican presidential pre-candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of MORENA party greets supporters during a pre-campaign rally in Queretaro, Mexico Feb. 9, 2018.

    Mexican presidential pre-candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of MORENA party greets supporters during a pre-campaign rally in Queretaro, Mexico Feb. 9, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 7 March 2018
Opinion

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador remains confident ahead of the presidential race as his rivals accuse each other of corruption.

Manuel Lopez Obrador, Mexico’s leftist candidate in the upcoming presidential elections in July, is leading the polls as other candidates face accusations of corruption and voters are fed up with establishment politics.

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The most recent poll by Parametria reveals Lopez Obrador is the favorite candidate for the Mexican presidency, with 35 percent of those surveyed saying they would vote for him, giving him a 14 point lead against runner-up Ricardo Anaya, the right-wing candidate from the “For Mexico in Front” coalition.

Francisco Abundis, the founder of the polling firm Parametria, thinks the reason behind this may be the fight for second place between Anaya and the ruling party candidate Jose Antonio Meade, who have been accusing each other of corruption and embezzlement over the past few weeks.

“The fight for second place is damaging them both,” Parametria founder Francisco Abundis said. “For citizens, these disputes are very tiring.”

The struggle for second place left Anaya with 21 percent of support in the poll and Meade with 16 percent, losing three and two points respectively.

But corruption scandals have not affected Lopez Obrador, who had already run for the country’s top office twice, coming close to defeating former President Felipe Calderon and current head of state Enrique Peña Nieto.

Lopez Obrador, head of the National Renewal Movement (Morena) and the Together We'll Make History coalition, have been leading all national polls as the population is tired of establishment parties who they see as the reason behind the ongoing violence and frequent corruption scandals in the country.

Anaya allegedly benefited from a resale of a piece of land in the state of Queretaro, with an industrial plant as added value. He claims the deal was legitimate, but investigations suggest the sale was made through a network of shell enterprises and front men, which led to losing track of the money's origin.

The backlash against Anaya comes a few weeks after a national news channel aired a video in which two business people can be seen testifying to Mexico's General Prosecutors' office that he was involved in fraudulent activities.

The report then prompted many voices from Meade's Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) to join the accusations.

Later as evidence surfaced and the accusations became more plausible, even members from the National Action Party, Anaya's own party, demanded a stronger investigation and are considering a new candidate for the presidency.

Anaya then accused the PRI candidate of embezzlement during his term as Minister of Social Development. That also affected Meade's campaign, who was already struggling with his party's negative legacy, which has grown unpopular under the current government of Peña Nieto.

Both candidates and their teams have denied the accusations while Lopez Obrador maintains confidence and promises to end corruption in the country.

Independent candidate Margarita Zavala, wife of former right wing President Calderon who started the bloody “war on drugs” in Mexico, scored the support of 10 percent of those surveyed, while the other popular independent candidate Jaime Rodriguez “El Bronco” has 5 percent.

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