Mexico’s Lopez Obrador On Brink Of Historic Presidential Win

Furious at spiraling corruption and violence, Mexican voters appeared to have unleashed a political earthquake Sunday by electing a leftist firebrand and giving him a broad mandate to overthrow the political establishment and govern for the poor.

A prominent exit poll gave populist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador a 16 to 26 point lead over his nearest rivals, who conceded even before official results were released by the National Electoral Institute. And his party allies were predicted to have huge wins in the Senate and lower house, possibly absolute majorities in both.

Lopez Obrador, who vowed to transform Mexico and oust the “mafia of power” ruling the country, rode widespread voter anger and discontent with the governing Institutional Revolution Party, or PRI, of President Enrique Pena Nieto and had led opinion polls since the beginning of the campaign.

Conservative Ricardo Anaya of a right-left coalition and the PRI’s Jose Antonio Meade acknowledged defeat shortly after polls closed nationwide.

“The tendency favors Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. … I recognize his triumph,” Anaya said in a speech to supporters.

“For the good of Mexico, I wish him the greatest success,” Meade said minutes earlier.

Lopez Obrador waved to supporters from a balcony of his campaign headquarters and then left in a motorcade for the center of the capital.

Supporters began wild celebrations in Mexico City, cruising up and down the central Paseo de la Reforma boulevard honking horns to the tune of “Viva Mexico!” and waving Mexican flags from car windows and moon roofs.

Thousands poured into the sprawling main square known as the Zoca

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