By James Blears
It`s taken eighteen long years of campaigning for Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to win the Presidency, and from December 1st he has a non renewable six years term to change Mexico, which is beset with economic woes and a Drug War.
Every morning there are hundreds of people outside his transition headquarters, with petitions, letters and pleas.
Lopez Obrador who won`t govern from the fancy Presidential Palace and will halve his salary from the incumbent, has vowed to combat corruption and waste. He`s also going to sell off Presidential limosines, jets and helicopters, build more refineries to make Mexico self sufficient in gasoline, create job schemes for graduate students who are now mostly unemployed and create a security commission to tackle, but also access Mexico`s twelve years Drug War.
He`s even and uniquely breakfasted with Jose Antonio Meade, the losing Presidential Candidate for the hitherto ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party PRI, calling him an honorable man.
Lopez Obrador was a creditable Mayor of Mexico City, but this challenge is infinitely more daunting. Direct investment in Mexico is the lowest since 1941, he will inherit trillions of dollars of debt from the last but also previous Administrations... and he has to balance austerity against an ambitious growth program he`s proposing.
Expections are sky high for Mexico`s first ever left wing President Elect, yet his leaway and margin for error are pencil slim.