Two human heads left at Mexican polling stations.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s party lost its absolute majority in the lower house in elections Sunday, initial results indicated, marking a setback to his promised “transformation” of the country.
The vote was seen as a referendum on his more than two years in office overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic and cartel-related violence.
Dozens of politicians have been murdered in the months leading up to the polls for the lower house of Congress, 15 of 32 state governors and thousands of local politicians.
On the eve of the elections, gunmen killed five people helping to organize voting in southern Mexico, while two human heads were left at polling stations in the border city of Tijuana on election day.
Early results suggested Lopez Obrador’s Morena party was set to take between 190 and 203 of the 500 seats, the National Electoral Institute said, though it could still secure an absolute majority with its allies.
The ruling coalition has had a two-thirds supermajority in the lower house of Congress that enabled Lopez Obrador to amend the constitution without negotiating with his opponents.
Without it, he faces a tougher time pushing through his planned reforms, including seeking greater energy independence for Mexico.
“It’s a defeat for Lopez Obrador — not overwhelming — but it does weaken him and his project because it requires constitutional reforms,” said political analyst Jose Antonio Crespo.
“It’s an important victory for the opposition because it was able to capitalize on the discontent, although the reality is that people voted against Lopez Obrador, not for his opponents,” he told AFP.