Leftist president hopeful vows to erase Mexico’s corruption

November 20, 2017

Presidential hopeful Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks at the National Auditorium in Mexico City, Monday, Nov. 20, 2017. Lopez Obrador, making his third bid for Mexico’s presidency, laid out his platform for next year’s presidential elections.(AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s leftist Morena party on Monday made eradicating corruption the centerpiece of its platform as its leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador runs for the presidency in next year’s elections.

Thousands of Morena’s most fervent supporters packed the capital’s National Auditorium to watch party bigwigs vote unanimously in support of the plan for governing if Lopez Obrador wins.

“We have in our hands the possibility of ending corruption,” Lopez Obrador said. “We’re going to banish it from our country.”

The money saved will “be used to finance development, guarantee the well-being of the people,” he said.

The governing plan also covered education, foreign relations, security and other areas. It calls for creation of a new public safety minister and a Civil Guard to take on drug cartels, allowing the military to return to its barracks.

Hector Vasconcelos, who introduced the government and policy aspects of the plan, said Mexico’s foreign policy in recent years has been too oriented toward North America to the detriment of relations with Europe and Latin America. He called for the current renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement to be suspended until a new government is in place.

Lopez Obrador, the former Mexico City mayor making his third bid for the presidency, did not directly address NAFTA.

He concluded his speech saying that his government would be a good neighbor and friend to the United States, “but demand that it respect the will and sovereignty of our people.”

Lopez Obrador spoke like the front-runner, touting his lead in polls and telling militants they must be ready to defend the vote. He said he will announce his potential Cabinet picks Dec. 14.

Other parties are still choosing their candidates for the July 1 election.

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