Lopez Obrador elected Mexico’s new president with 53 per cent of vote

A woman holding a baby casts her ballot at a polling station during the presidential election in San Bartolome Quialana in Oaxaca state Mexico

A woman holding a baby casts her ballot at a polling station during the presidential election in San Bartolome Quialana in Oaxaca state Mexico

Speaking late on Sunday night as results trickled in, he vowed to tackle corruption, get a handle on Mexico's violent war on drugs and focus on poverty and inequality.

Lopez Obrador's coalition - led by the Morena party he launched in 2014 - appeared to be on track for a strong showing in state and congressional races as well, winning at least five of the day's nine governor's races, according to exit polls. The party also scooped a range of important governorships in Mexico City, Morelos, Chiapas and Tabasco.

Lopez Obrador launched his campaign in Ciudad Juarez in tribute to its namesake Benito Juarez, a 19th century Mexican president whose exiled government resisted a French colonialist intervention from the unruly city that borders El Paso, Texas. Top of the agenda will be free trade negotiations and reassessing the deal to build a new Mexico City airport.

Trump has accused Mexico of sending criminals and rapists into the United States and is nearly universally disliked in Mexico. But rivals warn that a Lopez Obrador could set the country back decades with an interventionist economic policy.

Mexican president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday he had spoken with President Donald Trump on the phone and offered to reduce US-bound migration in exchange for American assistance.

More than 181,000 people registered to vote from overseas, three times as many in the last election under a new policy allowing sign-ups at local consulates rather than in Mexico.

According to the first official projection, Ricardo Anaya of the conservative National Action Party (PAN) won between 22.1 and 22.8 percent, Jose Antonio Meade of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) between 15.7 and 16.3 percent, and independent candidate Jaime Rodriguez between 5.3 and 5.5 percent.

Lopez Obrador will take office on December 1. Meade struggled during the campaign to escape discontent with the party, even though he was never a member until it tapped him as an "outsider" candidate.

Three polling firms gave the former Mexico City mayor the win.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has cast his vote in elections to choose his successor.

"We have a lot in common as well as profound differences", said Gustavo de Hoyos, president of the Mexican Employer's Confederation, Coparmex.

Donald Trump also congratulated Lopez Obrador on his electoral win, however, the USA president also said in an interview this weekend he intends to hold off on signing a new NAFTA deal until after America's fall midterm elections.

Lopez Obrador surged to victory on promises to help the poor and reform corruption in the country, as well as brandishing fiery nationalist rhetoric, famously promising that Mexico would not be the "pinata" of any foreign government.

"We are conscious of the need to maintain good relations with the United States".

Pena Nieto said Sunday that the vote "should reaffirm us in our democratic vocation".

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

Anaya tried to harness the youth vote with an emphasis on technology and new ideas, but he divided his own conservative party to take its candidacy and it's unclear if his new allies in the leftist Democratic Revolution Party will actually turn out for someone from the other end of the ideological spectrum.

Compared with his predecessors, Lopez Obrador is likely to be more focused on domestic economic issues than on settling trade issues with the United States, O'Neil said.

"He is not linked to any act of corruption and he has a history as a social fighter", Serrano said.

Duncan Wood heads the Mexico Department of the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. He told VOA that he does not expect the new president to make big changes in policy.

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