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First Presidential Debate in Mexico Focuses on Public Safety, Corruption 

LADB Article ID: 80575
Category/Department: Mexico
Date: 2018-04-25
By: Carlos Navarro

The first debate ahead of Mexico’s July 1 presidential election focused on corruption, crime, and attacks on the front-runner Andrés Manuel López Obrador. However, Mexico’s relationship with US President Donald Trump’s administration––a topics that has given López Obrador a boost in public opinion polls—was notably absent from the discussion among the five candidates seeking to succeed outgoing President Enrique Peña Nieto. López Obrador, a member of the center-left Movimiento Regeneración Nacional (Morena) went into the debate with a double-digit lead over his rivals, in part because of his combative style, which some voters believe make him the candidate best suited to confront the racist stance that the Trump administration has adopted toward Mexico The issues of public safety and corruption were the central themes of the debate. The other candidates in the debate were Ricardo Anaya, a member of the conservative Partido Acción Nacional (PAN), who is also representing the center-left Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD); José Antonio Meade, the standard-bearer for the governing Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI); independent candidate Margarita Zavala, a former first lady and former member of the PAN; and Nuevo León Gov. Jaime Rodríguez Calderón, also an independent The four candidates lagging López Obrador repeatedly questioned and criticized the front-runner on these issues, but López Obrador generally refused to be drawn into the verbal battle.

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