New Mexican president promises to put leadership to referendum

Andrés Manuel López Obrador says public can vote on his presidency after three years

Mexico’s next president, leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador, says he will put his presidency to a referendum in three years, giving the public a chance to have its say on whether he should continue his presidency half-way through his six-year term.

“It’s a commitment that I’m going to fulfill,” he said in an interview on TV Azteca. “Just as they elected me, they’ll have the chance to remove me, but I’m sure I’ll win as there will be results [from my presidency]\.”

Mr López Obrador, who won a landslide victory in Sunday’s presidential election and takes office in December, also said he would not make any attempt to run for a second presidential term, which is currently prohibited by the law, and would require a constitutional change.

In a separate development, a top adviser to Mr López Obrador said his election would jump art talks to renegotiate Nafta, the trade agreement between the US, Canada and Mexico.


Jesus Seade, Mr López Obrador's chief negotiator for the trade deal, said in an interview that the talks to revamp the 24-year-old pact had been hindered by uncertainty over the outcome of the Mexican election. After Mr López Obrador's decisive win on Sunday, the negotiations will accelerate, Mr Seade predicted.

“We are basically supporting what Mexico has been putting forward,” he said. “And we will be more than happy to explore, proactively, ways to energise the negotiation.”

Mr Seade said he expected to work alongside Ildefonso Guajardo, the outgoing economy minister, as talks concluded. The Mexican team will meet in the coming weeks to determine its game plan, he added.

Mexico depends heavily on trade with the United States, which receives about 80 per cent of its exports. US president Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened to withdraw from Nafta, which he says is unfair to US workers. – Reuters