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Crowds pack Plaza Grande to hear presidential frontrunner López Obrador

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Crowds were undeterred by the rain Tuesday when Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador spoke at the Plaza Grande. Photo: Facebook / Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador

Mérida, Yucatán — After a rally at the Plaza Grande, leftist presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador played down the support that businessmen have offered to his PRI-backed opponent, José Antonio Meade.

In a brief media interview, López Obrador said that his opponent needs more votes than the business community can deliver.

“Okay, they are in their right (to support Meade),” said López Obrador. But that support means “nothing more than 300 votes, but some 30 million are needed,” he said.

According to polls, López Obrador is the clear frontrunner in the final days leading to the election.

On Monday, a group of prominent business executives endorsed Meade. Among them are Marinela Servitje, of Grupo Bimbo; Edilberto Huesca, president of NRM Comunicaciones; and Arturo Elías Ayub, son-in-law of businessman Carlos Slim and director of Strategic Alliances at Telmex.

Having served in the cabinet of President Enrique Peña Nieto and his PAN predecessor Felipe Calderon, Meade is respected by the technocrat wings of both the PRI and the PAN.

Meade is not a member of the PRI, and he has projected himself as irreproachably honest and the only candidate capable of maintaining hard-won economic stability.

After months in third place, recent polls show Meade gaining some ground and being technically tied with Ricardo Anaya, who is running on a left-right coalition.

Tuesday’s campaign stop in Mérida continued despite a downpour that began 10 minutes into the candidate’s speech.

Despite the rain, López Obrador, already soaked, continued his speech and people took out the umbrellas without leaving their places. Many in the crowd appeared overcome with emotion.

The general election is Sunday, and also will decide Yucatán’s next governor and Mérida’s next mayor.

Despite the multiple candidates vying for the presidency, the July 1 election is decisive, with no runoffs built into Mexico’s electoral system.

Sources: El Universal, Reuters, Punto Medio

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