MEXICO CITY — Two-time leftist presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador has presented the political platform he hopes will pave the way to make his tilt at the top job in next year’s election a case of third time lucky.
Mexiconewsdaily.com reports the Morena party — which he founded and leads — held its fourth annual congress in Mexico City this week where the repeat aspirant, better known by his initials AMLO, set out his vision for the country in a policy manifesto entitled “National Project 2018-2024.”
The minimum wage, education, earthquake reconstruction, security, corruption, the economy and personal rights and freedoms all form part of the party’s agenda, part of which is intended to dispel concerns that the party is anti-business.
The daily minimum wage will rise by 15.6% per year under Morena’s proposal, ensuring that it will reach 171 pesos (US $9) by the end of 2024 and maintain pace with the minimum threshold set by the social development agency Coneval for well-being.
On education, López Obrador announced a scholarship scheme which aims to ensure that 150,000 young Mexicans — that he says are currently excluded from pursuing further studies — are able to access tertiary education. Under the proposal every student would receive 29,000 pesos (US $1,542) annually and entrance examinations would become optional to avoid students being “rejected” from educational institutions.
López Obrador also proposed that new funds for earthquake reconstruction be allocated directly to victims. Further resources would also be allocated for the reconstruction of infrastructure and the repair of culturally and historically significant heritage sites, buildings and monuments, he said.
In total, he pledged 45 billion pesos (US $2.4 billion) towards the efforts.
On security, López Obrador put forward an initiative similar to one already presented by current President Enrique Peña Nieto, who proposes creating a “Mando Único” or single command for the country’s state police forces. The proposal would effectively put an end to the independence of municipal police and is designed to create more standardized and professional forces across the country.
He also said he would withdraw the military from the nation’s streets, although he stressed it would only be done when it was safe to do so.
On corruption López Obrador proposed reforming Article 19 of the constitution to enforce mandatory preventative custody for people who commit crimes related to corruption.
“To transform this country, it’s no longer enough to complain that we have a dishonest government. We have in our hands the chance to put an end to corruption, ” he said.
Although AMLO is the current front-runner in election polls, neither the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) nor the left wing-right wing coalition known as the Citizens’ Front for Mexico have yet decided who their candidates for the July 1 election will be.
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