The triumph of the National Movement for Regeneration (Movimiento Regeneración Nacional MORENA) in not only Mexico’s presidential election, but particularly in the two houses of Mexico’s Federal Congress, has led to an interesting political debate. Now, many in Mexico are asking if it is a good idea for a president to have a majority of congressional support on his side or, to the contrary, if democracy would be further strengthened by having strong opposition in Mexico’s legislative chambers.Those favoring a strong government that has the support of its legislative branch aver that such alignment allows for greater efficiency in the design of public policy, institutional change and obtaining expeditious results, without the wasting of time or effort by politicians. On the other side, proponents of a “divided government” argue that effective checks and balances among the various governmental powers are necessary. They are concerned that the risk of centralized power could stymie political development and democracy within the country.What is clear is that this analysis is not complete without taking into account Mexico’s judicial branch, which, in exercising its regulatory and judicial functions, has the authority to review the constitutionality of all government actions. For now, AMLO has proposed a significant number of reforms that were originally announced during his campaign, and it appears that MORENA party lawmakers in both chambers of Mexico’s Congress are taking up many of his initiatives.It is undisputed that Mexico’s political system emerged as a winner from the largest elections in history that featured very high voter participation, with all voters accepting the victories of the winning candidates. This strengthened Mexican democracy and should be celebrated. However, one should closely follow the advances of the new president’s initiatives and those promoted by legislators from his MORENA party, which now hold a majority in Mexico, as well as the effectiveness of opposition lawmakers and Mexico’s judicial branch.
A New Era in U.S. – Mexico Relations
The political ramifications of Mexico’s presidential election have brought many developments, including changes in the U.S.-Mexico relationship. Contrary to what many had believed, the victory of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) has not generated nationalistic ill will or high-sounding declarations against the U.S. Instead, a conciliatory tone has prevailed.On the day of Mexico’s federal elections, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted, regarding AMLO, that he was “looking very much forward to working with him.” Trump added there was much to do for the common benefit of the United States and Mexico. President Trump has stated that he will have a good relationship and would work with Mexico’s new president to resolve immigration issues. President Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, attended AMLO’s inauguration as a special invitee and was seated next to Mexico’s first lady, Beatrice Gutierrez Müller.Mexico’s new ambassador to the United States, Martha Barcena, recently presented her diplomatic credentials to President Donald Trump. On her visit to the White House for such purpose, she stated that she would inform the U.S. leader of the instructions she received from Mexico’s president to confirm Mexico’s strong commitment to regional efforts to encourage development in southern Mexico and Central America so that northbound migration would become merely an option and not a necessity.The themes President Trump presented to the U.S. Congress during his State of the Union Address included the importance of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement (USMCA), which would represent a step forward in the collaboration of all three countries in the areas of international trade and investment.All these comments demonstrate the possibility of a new climate of understanding between the governments of these two nations, which will only serve to benefit the numerous initiatives and projects being carried out by both countries in the economic, cultural, sports, academic and social arena.