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Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador hands over a ceremonial baton of command to Claudia Sheinbaum after she was elected by the ruling National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) as its candidate to succeed him in 2024 in the presidential election, in Mexico City, Mexico September 7, 2023.

REUTERS/Henry Romero

Mexico’s president-elect pushes controversial judicial reform

In her first press conference since winning the Mexican election in a landslide earlier this month, president-elect Claudia Sheinbaumbacked a highly controversial plan to introduce a popular vote for the country’s Supreme Court justices.

The reform is the brainchild of current President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, aka AMLO, a charismatic left(ish) populist whose Morena party won a supermajority in Congress and fell just shy of one in the Senate.

Directly electing Supreme Court justices via popular vote would put Mexico in the company of just one other country that we know of: Bolivia, where AMLO’s ideological cousin Evo Morales instituted the practice in 2009.

AMLO and his supporters say the move would introduce more accountability to a system long dominated by corrupt elites.

But critics say it would dangerously politicize the justice system, upending the rule of law right as Mexico tries to catch an investment boom from “nearshoring” – that is, the trend of US-oriented companies moving their factories out of Asia as a way to skirt US-China trade tensions and avoid future global supply chain issues.

The skeptics could be right: The Mexican peso fell 2% after Sheinbaum’s comments.

Supporters of MORENA presidential candidate Claudia Sheinbaum attend the closure of her presidential campaign at the Zocalo, the nation's main public square in Mexico City, on May 29, days ahead of the election on Sunday.

Omar Ornelas / El Paso Times / USA TODAY NETWORK via Reuters

Viewpoint: AMLO looms large in Mexico’s upcoming elections

Ahead of the June 2 elections, two accomplished women, the ruling party’s Claudia Sheinbaum and the opposition’s Xochitl Galvez, are vying for the distinction of becoming Mexico’s first female president. Meanwhile, criminal organizations trying to assert their influence in down-ballot races are threatening and killing a record number of candidates for local office.

Yet there is an even bigger presence shaping the outcome of these elections: outgoing President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, popularly known as AMLO. Constitutionally limited to a single six-year term in office, the immensely popular leader appears to have positioned his leftist Morena party to dominate Mexican politics for another six years. We asked Eurasia Group expert Matias Gomez Leautaud to explain.

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Delfina Gomez, candidate for governor of the State of Mexico for the Morena party, celebrates after preliminary election results are announced in Toluca.

REUTERS/Henry Romero

AMLO's party wins big Mexican state, looking good for 2024

Mexico's ruling Morena Party on Sunday won a bellwether election in the State of Mexico. This is good news for President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, aka AMLO.

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Optimism about Mexico's political and economic future
The future of Mexico | Quick Take | GZERO Media

Optimism about Mexico's political and economic future

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi everybody, Ian Bremmer here. A happy Monday to you and a Quick Take to kick off your week. I'm just back from Mexico, Mexico City myself, and lots of fascinating meetings, lots of takeaways. Thought I would give you some of my sense of what is happening there, Mexico and Mexico's context in the world.

First thing I would say is I come away pretty optimistic about where the country is heading overall, and some of that is the context of Mexico in an environment where China-US relations are getting a lot more challenging. There is some significant national security and strategic decoupling that is happening at the behest of US administration, governors, members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans. And also, there's a lot more uncertainty about doing business in Xi Jinping's China itself, given the rapid and sudden changes on COVID, on how to do business as a technology company, on rules and regulations for the private sector, rule of law and its absence, local competition, you name it. And so, even though I still fairly strongly believe that China's going to become the largest economy in the world by 2030, the idea that US corporations will be able to take as much advantage of that is increasingly uncertain. Almost any business leader you talk to in the United States is saying, "Yeah, China is an important market for us, but we are being more cautious about how much we want to invest there, going forward. At the very least, we're putting a pause on some of the big decisions we're making." And in many cases, they're starting to reduce some of that forward looking exposure.

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Northern Ireland trade deal ends Brexit but not UK's economic woes
Can UK overcome economic challenges post-Northern Ireland trade deal? | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Northern Ireland trade deal ends Brexit but not UK's economic woes

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

Will the UK finally move past Brexit now that a Northern Ireland trade deal has been resolved?

Oh, it's only been, what, six years. My God. And Brexit finally concluded now that Prime Minister Sunak has taken on his own Conservative Party and said, "No, we're just going to finally move on this." And people are sick of the economic challenges, that's, in part, why Truss got washed out so quickly as former PM, and it's also why he had the space to get this done. It means that you're not worried about the so-called hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, and therefore, between the UK and the EU, and it means that the Brits can move on. But moving on, of course, still means that they no longer have integration with the world's largest common market, and that means that their performance economically will continue to drag below all of the rest of Europe and the United States, and that's really unfortunate. It's a massive own goal.

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Immigration a Biden priority at Three Amigos Summit
| World in :60 | GZERO Media

Immigration a Biden priority at Three Amigos Summit

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

What's on the agenda at the Three Amigos Summit?

Well, immigration is very high only between the US and Mexico. But still, the fact that Biden is willing to use this pandemic era clause to try to keep migrants from coming to the United States was not on my Bingo card six months ago. A lot of progressive Dems are unhappy with him, and a lot of conservatives are saying he's doing too little, too late, but nonetheless does recognize that he doesn't win any votes on balance by having large number of illegal immigrants continue to come to the United States. Also, a whole bunch of new NAFTA stuff, especially trade relations on energy with the Mexicans, Americans, and the Canadians, pretty unhappy with what AMLO has been doing on that front.

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US-Iran World Cup sportsmanship amid political tensions
Iran World Cup Players: Threatened at Home, Consoled by US Team | World In :60 | GZERO Media

US-Iran World Cup sportsmanship amid political tensions

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

How did Iran's attention in the World Cup impact protests at home?

Well, I mean, it certainly didn't slow them down any. When you see the Iranian national team first refusing to sing the national anthem and then singing it as woodenly and non-passionately as humanly possible because they've been threatened, and threatened about their families at home if they aren't singing it, that's a hell of a message to send to the Iranian people. And the fact that this country does not reflect its regime, a team does not reflect its regime, it's just extraordinary. And also, I just have to say that all of the pictures and the videos we've seen of the Iranian team and the American team actually coming together, the Americans consoling the Iranians, who have been under such massive stress and crying, and I mean, you can't even imagine performing at that level on the global stage, given the level of additional political pressure and danger that they're actually under. My heart goes out to those guys, and of course to the Americans for doing such a great job representing our country.

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Can China lead on Russia/Ukraine peace?
G-20 Summit: More Alignment Between US & Allies on Global Stage | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Can China lead on Russia/Ukraine peace?

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

Was the G-20 a success?

Not really, in the sense that there was no effective communique, the ball was not moved on serious needles as a G-20. On the other hand, the G-7 that met within the G-20 was certainly a success. Following on all these Russian attacks on Ukraine, you have even ever more alignment between the United States and its allies on the global stage. That's certainly a useful thing to maintain, especially as people are saying, "Oh, it's going to crumble. Oh, they're going to peel off."

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