MEXICOCITY – Mexico’s sprawling capital has long been a bedrock of support for President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, dating back to his term as mayor years ago, but city voters shifted on Sunday, giving opponents a string of major wins, according to preliminary results.
The congressional election in the country looked https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/mexican-president-keeps-congress-loses-shine-mid-term-vote-2021-06-07 likely to give Lopez Obrador’s allies a majority, albeit slimmed down. In Mexico City, though, his party did not fare so well in elections for borough leaders.
While his leftist National Regeneration Movement, known as MORENA, held on to Mexico City’s most populous boroughs, including Iztapalapa and Gustavo Madero, it lost nine of the capital’s 16 districts.
Lopez Obrador blamed the opposition gains on unfriendly press coverage.
“You have to keep in mind that this is where there were more attacks from the media,” said Lopez Obrador, speaking at his regular morning news conference at the national palace in downtown Mexico City.
The leftist leader often lashes out at the media, which he derides as mostly elitist and overly concentrated in the capital.
More outreach was needed, he said on Monday.
Lopez Obrador built up his power base in the capital when he served as mayor from 2000 to 2005, and MORENA took all but four of the boroughs when Lopez Obrador swept to power three years ago in a landslide election victory.
But the opposition was able to capitalize on discontent over his record since he became president. He has struggled to deliver on pledges to combat gang violence and lift anemic economic growth.
Opposition politicians formed an ideologically diverse coalition to beat out ruling party candidates in the capital.
The coalition is made up of the centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the center-right National Action Party (PAN), and the center-left Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), the later once the political home of Lopez Obrador.
In the borough of Cuauhtemoc, MORENA’s Dolores Padierna, a veteran politician once affiliated with the PRD, was down by 10% to her main coalition rival, Sandra Xantall Cuevas.
But Padierna nonetheless held on to fading hopes for a turnaround late on Sunday. “We’re going to win!” she said.