19-03-2020 Latin American Weekly Report
As region goes into lockdown, two populists play by own rules
Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador presented one of his government’s flagship policy proposals at the weekend: a five-year national development plan designed not just to drive economic growth and attract foreign direct investment (FDI) but also to improve justice and the rule of law, and social welfare, “ending the nightmare that was neoliberal politics”. The main ‘development’ concerning the political opposition, however, is that López Obrador will seek to stay in power beyond the timeframe of the plan. This after the federal lower chamber of congress approved a constitutional reform establishing a presidential recall referendum, which the opposition fears could pave the way for re-election. López Obrador sought to defuse political tensions, to enable the reform to pass through the senate, by signing a document expressly ruling out a re-election bid in 2024.
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