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The New Mexican President Cuts His Salary By 50% and Leaves the Presidential Residence

Invested on 1 December, Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, the new Mexican president, decided to divide his salary by two, sell the presidential plane and transform the luxurious state residence into a cultural center open to the public.

The new Mexican president cuts his salary by 50% and leaves the presidential residence© Edgard Garrido Source: Reuters
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, new President of Mexico, holds a press conference at the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on December 3, 2018.

Mexico’s new president , who was sworn in on 1 December, marked the start of his term with strong symbols. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says he wants to end the privileges and, to do this, seems to have wanted to start by abolishing those reserved for his function. He made the highly symbolic decision to cut his salary by more than half and sell the $ 218 million luxury presidential plane.

While the head of state earned just over 209,000 Mexican pesos a month, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will earn him 108,000 pesos, equivalent to just over 4,700 euros per month. This will be the maximum salary allowed in the civil service according to the new law on the remuneration of civil servants published on December 3, two days after the inauguration of the new socialist president.

Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, nicknamed “Amlo”, will sell the presidential plane as he had promised during his campaign and intends to use the commercial airlines for his travels. He has also lightened his bodyguard because he considers that “the people protect him”.

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In addition, the sumptuous state residence called Los Pinos, which his predecessor Enrique Pena Nieto still lived in, will be transformed into a cultural center for the Mexican public. Meanwhile, the house is already open to the public who can visit it. Fourteen times larger than the White House, this pharaonic building is located in a vast park of 5.6 hectares.

Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, the first left-wing president in Mexico’s recent history, officially took office on 1 December after being elected on 1 July, promises to fight corruption, a veritable scourge in that country, by carrying out a “profound and radical” transformation of the country. “It may sound pretentious, but today begins not only a new government, but a new political regime,” he told the Mexican Congress and foreign heads of state or diplomatic representatives gathered in Mexico City for his inauguration .

“From now on, a peaceful and orderly but profound and radical transformation will be realized because we will finish with the corruption and the impunity which prevent the rebirth of Mexico”, promised the one which considers that “the neoliberal economic policy has was a disaster, a calamity for the country. The new Mexican president has committed to rigorous management of public finances, to launch various social programs and an increase in the minimum wage.

An investiture loaded with symbols

On December 1, “Amlo” was enthroned by a representative of the Mexican Indigenous Peoples who gave her a command baton during a purification ritual amidst the scent of incense and traditional plants – a first for a chef de Mexican State. “I reaffirm my commitment not to lie, not to steal or betray the Mexican people,” Amlo solemnly told the crowd, holding the famous stick in her hand. 

The new Mexican president cuts his salary by 50% and leaves the presidential residence© Edgard Garrido Source: Reuters
The President of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, holds the baton of command received by representatives of the indigenous people of Mexico during his inauguration on Zocalo Square in Mexico City, Mexico, on December 1, 2018.

The ceremony took place in the middle of an impressive crowd in the central square of Zocalo, where the National Palace is located. “Amlo” plans to install its new offices there.

Many presidents of Latin America, the King of Spain Felipe VI, US Vice President Mike Pence and Ivanka Trump, the daughter of the American president, were present. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro arrived for lunch following the ceremony.

After his inauguration, the new president joined the National Palace aboard his usual white Volkswagen Jetta, framed by a limited security.

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Written by How Africa

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