Oct 19, 2011

Mexico Politics: Mexican leftist tries softer image in election bid

Reuters: "Widely seen as a threat to private business, the left-wing runner-up in Mexico's 2006 presidential election is trying to recast himself as a moderate to boost his chances of winning power next year. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (known by his initials as AMLO) narrowly lost the 2006 election and then claimed fraud, launching massive street protests that shut down central areas of Mexico City for weeks.

Lopez Obrador, 57, is trying to win back former supporters (whom he alienated by his protests) by projecting a softer image and tackling claims that he would wreck the economy if he were president. "Don't be fooled, I'm not against businessmen," he said recently.

He recently flew to the United States, Mexico's biggest trading partner, and pledged in a speech in Washington to fight monopolies and give priority to small and medium-sized firms. The U.S. trip was immediately followed by a visit to Spain, the largest Mexican export market in Europe and home to a number of the most powerful banks in Mexico. Lopez Obrador who also organized a business forum in the industrial northern city of Monterrey, a bastion of Calderon's conservative National Action Party, or PAN. read more

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