Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the left-wing anti-corruption crusader who has run for president of Mexico twice previously, ended his third run’s “pre-campaign” with a rally in Guadalajara last Sunday.
About 20,000 people flocked to hear the politician, formerly mayor of the Federal District and founder of the four-year-old MORENA party, speak at the Niños Heroes glorieta. The main theme of his speech was, not surprisingly, corruption and his pledge to eradicate it.
“This isn’t rhetoric, it’s a promise,” declared Obrador. “If there is moral authority, there is political authority, which will improve Mexico’s image abroad.” The veteran of Mexican political life also took the occasion to enumerate his core principals: don’t lie, don’t steal, don’t betray.
Obrador is considered the current frontrunner for Mexico’s presidency. However, he was similarly touted in 2006’s election, during which he ran against Felipe Calderon. That campaign saw him losing by an extremely narrow margin of 236,000 votes; it is rumored that his defeat was brought about by fraudulent electoral actions on the part of the Calderon campaign.
Obrador also made a strong during the last presidential campaign, in 2012, in which he lost to the PRI candidate, Enrique Peña Nieto. The twice beaten candidate refused, as he had done in 2006, to concede defeat, alleging that the Nieto campaign, among other things, had bribed voters with 500-peso supermarket gift cards.
Polls currently have Obrador leading his opponents, Ricardo Anaya and Jose Antonio Meade, by 15 points.