Mexican presidential rivals tackle foreign policy in second televised debate

Vastavam web: Mexican presidential front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador faces off with rivals in a second televised debate on Sunday night, one of the last major chances for them to attack his sizeable lead ahead of the July 1 election.Leftist Lopez Obrador, a former Mexico City mayor, withstood a heavy onslaught from the other contenders in the first debate last month, and some recent voter surveys show his advantage in the race has grown since then.

Second-placed rival, 39-year-old Ricardo Anaya, who heads a right-left coalition, emerged as the victor of the first debate in some polls, and he has consolidated his position as the main challenger to Lopez Obrador.The second debate will focus on international trade and investment, border security and the fight against cross-border gangs, as well as migrants’ rights. All have featured heavily in Mexico’s fraught relationship with U.S. President Donald Trump.

In his third tilt at the presidency, Lopez Obrador has capitalized on widespread disenchantment with the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) over corruption, rising levels of violence and sluggish economic growth.This time around, Lopez Obrador has cut a more relaxed figure on the campaign trail, largely avoiding the kind of outbursts that in the past helped adversaries depict him as a threat to the stability in Latin America’s No. 2 economy.

He has adopted more moderate economic rhetoric, even meeting with BlackRock Inc Chief Executive Larry Fink this month, part of a push to reassure investors about his policies.Despite softening his tone, Lopez Obrador has butted heads with Mexico’s business community, calling several tycoons influence traffickers who benefit from corruption.