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A banner shows the images of three former Mexican presidents, as members of the ruling MORENA party organize documents with citizens' signatures after gathering them for a ballot measure that could put former presidents on trial for corruption.

REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

Mexico's corruption referendum eye-roll

If your country had suffered decades of crippling corruption, wouldn't you want to prosecute those responsible? Of course you would. On Sunday, almost 98 percent of Mexicans who voted in a national referendum on this subject said, in so many words: "Yes, please prosecute the last five presidents for corruption!"

The catch is that turnout was a dismal 7 percent, meaning the plebiscite fell way short of the 40 percent turnout threshold required for its result to be binding.

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A supporter of Felix Salgado Macedonio, who was running for governor of the state of Guerrero as a candidate of President Andres Manual Lopez Obrador's MORENA party, takes part in a demonstration outside Mexico's National Electoral Institute in Mexico City.

REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

Mexico’s midterms: AMLO unbound?

On Sunday Mexican voters will go to the polls to elect 500 members of the lower house, roughly half of the country's governorships, more than two dozen state assemblies, and some 20,000 other local government posts. Some are calling it the largest election in the country's history.

The ruling Morena party of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, popularly known as AMLO, is looking to hang on to its current two-thirds majority in the lower house, and to pick up several governorships to boot.

Although his name won't be printed on a single ballot, the vote is largely seen as a referendum on AMLO himself, the leftwing nationalist who swept to power in 2018 with huge promises to tackle violence, root out graft, help the poor and, above all, break the power monopoly of the traditional political class.

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