No doubt fearing that history will repeat itself and he’ll be dislodged – as he was in 2006 – from his frontrunner position at the last minute, left-winger Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (often referred to as AMLO) has accused several leading companies in Mexico of pressuring their employers into voting for Ricardo Anaya of the National Action Party (PAN) in the race for the presidency.
While it may on the face of it seem a reckless statement, it is well known that Mexico’s business community has never been a friend of Lopez Obrador and his quasi-populist policies. Several business consortiums have in recent weeks pressured candidates with little chance of winning – including independents Margarita Zavala and Jaime Rodriguez Calderon and PRI candidate Jose Antonio Meade – to step aside, freeing up votes for the bespectacled, conservative economist.
And neither was Lopez Obrador’s statement lacking in particulars. “I don’t want to generalize, because not all are doing this, but I’ve been informed that many companies are sending letters to their employees asking them to vote for Anaya,” he stated at an event in Puerto Vallarta. “I’ve been told that Coppel, AeroMexico and Telmex are involved.”
And without specifying the source of the information, the veteran politician detailed the exact way the companies are supposedly “requesting” that their workers prove which way they eventually vote.
“They’re asking for cellphone photos of voting tickets,” said the scrappy former mayor of Mexico City.
Meanwhile, the industrial giants all issued statements denying allegations of electoral meddling.
“We deplore the unfounded accusations, which suggest, based on nothing more than rumor, that Group Coppel is coercing its employees into voting [against Lopez Obrador],” said Gustavo de Hoyos, president of Coparmex, Mexico’s largest business cabal.