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López Obrador announces a new political stage to consolidate his movement and “avoid setbacks”

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, before the presentation of his second government report.HENRY ROMERO / Reuters

There was a time when the government report was, de facto, the day of the president. Until the 1990s, it was the day when television cameras followed the president from his residence, recorded him saying goodbye to his daughters, followed him to Congress and there they transmitted a message only interrupted by applause. In the new dynamic, it is Andrés Manuel López Obrador who sees Mexicans having breakfast every day at seven in the morning and the cryptic speeches of the leaders of the old PRI have given way to an overwhelming media presence where silence is the anomaly.

In his second government report, the Mexican president described an optimistic economic outlook, despite the fact that the forecasts of all the organizations contrast with him and socially, and insisted that his movement enters a new stage to “avoid setbacks”, in a clear message to the rank and file ahead of next year’s elections.

The new reality is that the president monopolizes the speech and it is difficult to find news after two hours of a morning conference. With these wickers, López Obrador dressed in the suit that best suits him, that of didactic reiteration, in his message to the country. During it, he gave a successful review of his management in which he addressed his fight against corruption, the austerity that surrounds his government, social programs or the construction of the Santa Lucía airport and the Mayan Train, in the midst of a recovery context. economical.

López Obrador described his first two years at the helm of the Fourth Transformation that he claims to lead, as a practically completed project where “95 of the 100 promises made in the Zócalo have been fulfilled,” he said in reference to the speech given after his “overwhelming” victory. electoral. “Fundamentally, we really have little left. The nation project is applied from day one (…) Circumstances have forced us to make adjustments but we are not going to deviate from what is essential ”. López Obrador admitted in his speech in the courtyard of the National Palace that the country is going through two crises, one economic and the other health, but that the recovery has begun because “at the worst moment we have the best government,” he summarized.

Politically, López Obrador sowed with the subtlety of yesteryear what will be the master lines of his new calendar. The president described to his closest team -among which were Claudia Sheinbaum, head of Government of Mexico City; Alfonso Romo, head of the Presidency and the Chancellor, Marcelo Ebrard- which will be his new stage in the movement he leads and with which he intends to convince on the street of what he has achieved in the heights. With his sights set on the June 2021 elections, López Obrador described his government as a developing movement where “the best way to avoid setbacks in the future depends a lot on continuing with the revolution of consciences to fully achieve a change in mentality”. Obrador aspires that “when necessary,” the movement he leads “becomes a collective will ready to defend what has been achieved,” he warned.

For 45 minutes, the Mexican president insisted that he is leading a “moral renewal” of the country and offered questionable figures on the economy and public safety. “There are fewer kidnappings, femicides, assaults on public transport, business and home robbery,” he said. “In all these crimes there is an average decrease of 30%, although homicides and extortion increased,” he said. Official figures, however, confirmed this Tuesday that August is the second most violent of the year.

In the economic field, Lopez Obrador defended that the recovery has arrived without increasing the public debt and celebrated his good harmony with the businessmen. He dedicated some of his compliments to them, saying that the majority kept their workers during the pandemic (although officially more than a million jobs have been lost), that they pay their taxes correctly and that they increased the minimum wage by 16% last year. and 20% the current, said in reference to the million companies that create the productive fabric of the country.

Standing, wearing a blue jacket and dark tie, the Tabasco president offered his less prudish and more institutional side, but did not miss any opportunity to hit his opponents, including the “pseudo-ecologists.” On the latest cases of corruption linked to the former president of Pemex Emilio Lozoya, he insisted on the double message that he has been handling for a long time: on the one hand, he does not believe that his predecessors in office should be tried, but at the same time, he is a supporter of carry out a public consultation to judge the former presidents, which would be a blow to the separation of powers in Mexico and which is unprecedented, beyond the legal inconsistencies pointed out by many experts. When he referred to the opposition, he reminded them that nothing will keep him out of their way because “the majority of Mexicans approve” of his management.

According to the poll published by EL PAIS this Monday, he has one of the highest approval rates on the continent, close to 65%, although his party is far from that figure. With the undeniable political nose that even his opponents recognize him, the Government Report inaugurated the political winter on Tuesday with two clear objectives: to spread the ‘Fourth Transformation’ among the grassroots and to position his party, Morena, in the face of the elections of June, where half of the chamber, 15 governors and a large number of municipal presidents will be renewed.