CUAXOMULCO, June 7 — Mexicans pared back President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s power in elections on Sunday, an official forecast of results showed, delivering his Morena party and allies a reduced majority that will make sweeping change more difficult.
The National Electoral Institute (INE) saw the ruling coalition winning between 265 and 292 of the 500 seats in the lower house, short of the two thirds majority needed to push through amendments to the constitution.
Lopez Obrador, who has vowed to transform Mexico with an overhaul of politics and the economy, has toyed with constitutional changes to protect state energy companies.
As well as the vote for the lower house of Congress, Mexicans chose 15 state governors and state lawmakers in Sunday’s race, which is seen as a referendum on Lopez Obrador’s policies and his shake-up of Mexico’s institutions.
Opinion polls in recent days showed Morena winning most of the 15 governors’ races. Results are expected overnight.
The contest has taken place amid the Covid-19 pandemic and high levels of violent crime, with 91 politicians killed in this election cycle, according to security consultancy Etellekt.
Since taking office in 2018 after a landslide victory, Lopez Obrador has expanded the role of the state in the energy sector and radically cut back on the cost of government to channel resources to the poor and his priority infrastructure projects.
In the process, he has eroded institutional checks and balances and frequently criticised autonomous bodies, including the Bank of Mexico, prompting critics to sound the alarm about his concentration of power. — Reuters