WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama called Mexico’s president-elect Enrique Pena Nieto on Monday to congratulate him on an election win which returned the once-reviled Institutional Revolutionary Party to power.
“The President reiterated his commitment to working in partnership with Mexico, and looks forward to advancing common goals,” a White House statement said. Those goals include “promoting democracy, economic prosperity, and security in the region and around the globe,” the statement said.
“The president also congratulated the Mexican people who have once again demonstrated their commitment to democratic values through a free, fair, and transparent election process,” it added.
Mexico and the United States, major trade partners and allies, have a constant dialogue on the vicious drugs war raging in Mexico, much of it over substances destined for American users.
Pena Nieto declared victory in the presidential election late on Sunday, after first official results showed him with 38 per cent of the vote, ending more than a decade in the political wilderness for the PRI.
His nearest rival, leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador from the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), took 31 per cent but refused to concede the race, claiming to have data showing different results. The PRI was synonymous with the Mexican state as it governed for seven decades until 2000 using a mixture of patronage and selective repression — isolating political foes through bought elections and skewed media coverage.
Meanwhile, Mexican President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto on Monday pledged to prioritize energy, labour and tax reforms and said he hopes to strike deals with opponents to help push some changes through Congress even before he takes office in December. Pena Nieto won the election on Sunday with about 38 per cent of the vote and a margin of around 6 percentage points over his nearest rival, returning his Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) to power after 12 years in opposition.
But he won fewer votes than expected and it is still unclear how the parties will stack up in Congress. Incomplete results suggested the PRI could struggle to capture a working majority, leaving it reliant on other parties to pursue its reform agenda.
“The (reforms) are all in the same order of priority, but which goes first will depend on financial and political conditions,” he told reporters, referring to labor, energy and fiscal reforms.