Over a million of Mexicans have reportedly taken part in the informal public poll sponsored by President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), which took place between October 25-28. About 70% of respondents reportedly favored AMLO’s proposal to cancel construction of Mexico City’s New International Airport (NAICM), expanding existing airport infrastructure in the city instead. AMLO campaigned against NAICM, arguing that it is a pointless investment stained by mismanagement and diversion of public funds. Planned as a solution to growing air traffic in the capital, supporters of NAICM argue that the project will bring many benefits to the national economy, enabling Mexico City to become a major regional transportation hub.
The informal poll is deemed highly controversial for a number of reasons, including the fact that it was not endorsed by governing authorities. Given that it was organized by AMLO’s political party, critics have cast doubts regarding the legitimacy and transparency of the process. For instance, sources indicate that one individual was able to vote up to four times. Moreover, although AMLO’s poll attracted a considerable turnout for such informal initiative, the results will not likely be perceived to necessarily represent the sentiment of most Mexicans. In this sense, although AMLO had previously expressed that results would be binding, he is not likely to make a final decision at this point. In light of mounting criticism and pressure from political and business elements supporting NAICM, AMLO could potentially call for a formal poll after he is invested president in December.