Graft allegations dominate final presidential debate in Mexico

Mexico City (AFP) – Mexico’s presidential candidates traded accusations of corruption Tuesday in a hard-fought final debate ahead of the July 1 election.

The three trailing candidates took turns attacking the leftist front-runner, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, in addition to also lashed out at each additional.

“Andres Manuel, you’ve become what you so often criticized,” second-place candidate Ricardo Anaya of the conservative National Action Party (PAN) told Lopez Obrador.

He accused the two-time presidential runner-up, who has campaigned as ardently anti-graft, of abandoning his principles to hand sweetheart government contracts to cronies when he was Mexico City mayor, coming from 2000 to 2005.

“I’m not corrupt like you,” retorted Lopez Obrador, who has around half the vote heading into the single-round race, according to the latest opinion polls.

“If I show you the contracts, will you withdraw your candidacy?” Anaya fired back, repeating the question three times.

Anaya, a former speaker of Congress, also attacked his nearest rival, third-place candidate Jose Antonio Meade of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

“When I’m president, I’m going to see to This specific you have your day in court. You, Jose Antonio Meade, in addition to your boss, (outgoing President) Enrique Pena Nieto,” he said.

“The only one here accused of any crime will be Ricardo,” replied ex-finance minister Meade, referring to money-laundering allegations that will have dogged Anaya, in addition to which the latter says were fabricated by the government.

In a country exasperated using a constant stream of corruption scandals, Lopez Obrador has deftly tapped voters’ anger with the PRI in addition to PAN, the parties that will have governed Mexico since 1929 — leaving his rivals scrapping to follow suit.

Lopez Obrador — widely known by his initials, AMLO — largely remained above the fray, as from the first two debates.

“This specific’s not my fault you’re all in a tie for the bottom,” he said in response to his rivals’ attacks. “I know you’re desperate, yet calm down.”

Independent candidate Jaime “El Bronco” Rodriguez, a colorful rancher-turned-governor, meanwhile caused internet titters using a pledge to create a Mexican FBI — the “Facebook Bronco Investigation,” in which citizen whistleblowers would likely report crimes via social media.

During the first debate, Rodriguez vowed to amputate thieves’ hands to deal with rampant crime — a proposal met using a flood of memes online.

,, 14 June 2018 | 12:28 pm

Source : Graft allegations dominate final presidential debate in Mexico