Massive rallies close Mexico’s tight presidential race

Polls give leftist City Mayor, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador a narrow lead over the conservative ruling party candidate.

Mexico’s tight presidential race came to a close on Wednesday with massive rallies after weeks of an aggressive campaign that lead to sanctions imposed by the national electoral council. Now the 70 millions of Mexicans registered will have three days to make up their minds and go to the polls on Sunday to either vote for a leftist change or support the incumbent president’s conservative party.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador from the center-left wing Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), made his last campaign efforts at the capital's main square. Addressing up to 200,000 supporters, former Mexico City mayor Lopez Obrador outlined his anti-poverty social program, vowing to reactivate the economy and employment and to give autonomy to the central bank.

“We're going to make history. We are going to bring in a new era in Mexican public life," Lopez Obrador told a rally that filled the capital's Zocalo, one of the world's biggest squares. Inspired by the crowd, Lopez Obrador compared Sunday’s vote with turning points in the history of one of the culturally richest countries of the world. The leftist leader said his government will be like the break from colonial master Spain, the liberal reforms in the mid-19th century and the Mexican Revolution of the early 20th century.

“Mexicans are first, and then come the foreigners”, told the leftist candidate to a cheering crowd dressed in yellow and orange, the colors of his PRD party. "All I want is a better society without privileges, without Mexicans of first or second class. We are all equal," he said.

In an attempt to vanish the concerns of the rich, Lopez Obrador promised to manage the country responsibly, saying "we are not going to provoke any crisis; nobody should be worried."

“I am a candidate who respects the law”

Meanwhile, in the Jalisco State, the conservative candidate Felipe Calderon, who is just two points behind Lopez Obrador in the opinion polls, gathered about 2,000 people in the closing rally of his ruling National Action Party (PAN). Calderon says Lopez Obrador is a populist who has a cavalier attitude to the rule of law.

"I am a candidate who respects the law. The other candidate doesn't believe in it," Calderon, from the ruling National Action Party, or PAN, said on Wednesday. He says Lopez Obrador would wreak havoc with delicate economic balances that have made Mexico one of Latin America's most stable countries. "One project, the PAN's, guarantees economic stability, the other doesn't," Calderon said.

Roberto Madrazo, from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) that ruled Mexico for most of the 20th century, is in third place according to recent opinion polls. Analysts believe that the well-spread structure of the PRI party will help Madrazo to play his part in the close election predicted for Sunday.

Hernan Etchaleco

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov