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 Lopez-Obrador ahead?


2) What if he loses? What happens then?

As of today, all of the experts have Lopez-Obrador winning the election. It’s the “3rd time it’s a charm” story, a reference to his two previous defeats in 2006 and 2012. The candidate said this:

“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..

Despite the lead in the polls, most of my Mexican friends do not believe them. 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, Lopez-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 that it will be worse this time because Lopez-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 that 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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