Mexicans endorse president-elect's agenda in referendum


The vast majority of the fewer than 1 million eligible voters who took part in a referendum on 10 projects proposed by incoming President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador supported the initiatives, the transition team said Monday.

"We are all learning from these exercises: citizens, organizations and the media. And the trustworthiness of the referendum has been clear, in terms of citizen acceptance and improvement of procedures," future presidential spokesman Jesus Ramirez Cuevas told a press conference.

In this second citizen referendum 946,081 votes were registered, somewhat lower participation than in the referendum at the end of October on whether or not to continue construction of a new airport for the capital.

Both plebiscites were organized by the Arturo Rosenbleuth Foundation, a non-profit academic institution.

"As you can see, in almost all of the questions 90 percent of the population supported these projects by the next government," foundation director-general Enrique Calderon said.

Ten "priority programs" of the Lopez Obrador government - due to take office on Dec. 1 - were submitted for consideration in the Nov. 24-25 referendum.

Among these projects was the construction of the Maya Train, which seeks to link five south-southeastern states, Mexico's most backward region. If the public were to vote "yes" on the project, work on it would begin on Dec. 16.

The plebiscite also asked about the construction of a refinery, another railway that will connect two ports on the Pacific and the Atlantic and several social programs such as apprenticeships for young people, retirement and disability pensions and providing Internet access in all public spaces.

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