Leftist set to become Mexico's next president as rivals concede

Jeremy Corbyn and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in 216

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has declared victory in Mexico's presidential election, as preliminary results showed the leftist veteran politician, who had presented himself as an agent of change, secured a landslide win. Almost 13 million voters between the ages of 18 and 23 were expected to vote for the first time, according to election officials.

It is the first time in Mexico's modern history a candidate has won more than half the vote in a competitive election, and a resounding rejection of the two parties that have governed the country for almost a century. "Now that he has won, he can not fail this new generation that believes in him", said Mariano Bartolini, a 29-year-old lawyer who voted for Lopez Obrador in the northwestern city of Rosarito, near Tijuana. "We are not looking to construct a dictatorship, either open or hidden", he told cheering supporters, promising to safeguard freedoms, respect the private sector and work to reconcile a divided nation.

"I look forward to working closely with President-elect López Obrador, his administration and the Mexican Congress to build on the vibrant partnership between our two countries, create economic growth that works for everyone, and advance human rights and equality", Trudeau said.

Polls are beginning to close across much of Mexico for Sunday's presidential election.

He has also been critical of the current trade accord between Canada, the USA and Mexico.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also congratulated the new Mexican leader, saying the two countries "share common goals, strong people to people ties, and a mutually beneficial trading relationship that is the envy of the world".

Mr Lopez Obrador successfully tapped voters' anger over a seemingly never-ending series of corruption scandals and horrific violence that left a record 25,000 murders previous year.

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That included Mexico City, where a woman was elected for the first time ever, the scientist and environmentalist Claudia Sheinbaum.

The polling firm Consulta Mitofsky predicted Morena allies would take between 56 and 70 seats in the 128-member Senate and between 256 and 291 spots in the 500-seat lower house. Lopez Obrador had been compared to Trump for his populist, nationalist rhetoric and sometimes touchy personality - as well as his past skepticism about the trade deal.

Jose Antonio Meade, the candidate of the ruling centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), conceded defeat to Mr Lopez Obrador, a 64-year-old former Mexico City mayor, within minutes of the polls closing.

Lopez Obrador said individual and property rights would be guaranteed, promised respect for the autonomy of the central Bank of Mexico and said his government will maintain financial and fiscal discipline.

In brief remarks at a hotel in central Mexico City late Sunday, Lopez Obrador called for reconciliation after a polarizing campaign and promised profound change but with respect for the law and constitutional order.

In his victory speech, he cited one overriding priority: eradicating the country's festering corruption.

"We are absolutely certain that this evil is the principle cause of social inequality and of economic inequality", he said.

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