What happens if Lopez-Obrador loses in Mexico?
Over the last two weeks, I've been on the phone or social media with many friends in Mexico. We usually narrow our talk to this:
1. Do you believe these polls showing Andrés López-Obrador ahead?
2. What if he loses? What happens then?
As of today, all of the experts have López-Obrador winning the election. It's the "third time's the charm" story, a reference to his two previous defeats in 2006 and 2012. From the candidate:
"This is going to be a peaceful, orderly change, but at the same time, it will be radical," Lopez Obrador said recently, drawing cheers and cries of "Presidente! Presidente!" from a crowd in the colonial town of San Miguel de Allende.
Most of my Mexican friends do not believe the lead in the polls. They cite a lot of good reasons, such as "no one answers political questions on the phone."
Others are a bit more humorous: didn't the experts say that Germany had a 90% chance of beating Mexico? Yes, they did!
What really worries my friends is this: what happens if he loses?
Back in 2006, López-Obrador shut down cities and even held an inauguration ceremony to proclaim himself "el presidente." I remember people on the sidewalks of Mexico City protesting his defeat. It was bizarre, to say the least.
My friends say it will be worse this time because López-Obrador is convinced of victory. His supporters believe that only fraud can deny them their "turn."
It may be a crazy summer down in Mexico. If he wins, the peso takes a hit. If he loses, the streets go crazy.
Last but not least, a Mexican friend told me it was a lot more fun when elections were not contested. I don't know if "one-party rule" was better, but at least the ride to the airport was not delayed by demonstrations.
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