(Reuters) - Mexico’s left-wing parties on Tuesday backed Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador after polls showed he was
best positioned to run for president in the 2012 elections.
Mexico’s main leftist force, the PRD, and other parties commissioned two national surveys conducted by polling firms picked by Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard and his party rival, Lopez Obrador.
The polls showed Lopez Obrador had greater support among the general public than Ebrard.
Here are some facts about Lopez Obrador:
* A firebrand whose politics worried foreign investors and sent jitters through financial markets in 2006, when he lost the presidential election by only a handful of votes, “AMLO” still calls himself the legitimate president of Mexico. Since the election, his influence on national politics has waned.
* In a recent poll that matched up possible candidates from different parties, 28 percent of those surveyed said they would vote for Lopez Obrador. Enrique Pena Nieto, a former state governor who is likely to be the candidate for the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), had more than 55 percent support.
* Lopez Obrador, 58, gained popularity as Mexico City mayor by making cash payments to the elderly and building up social programs. Since his 2006 defeat, he has constantly toured small, remote towns to keep his image alive among supporters.
* In interviews leading up to the 2012 elections, Lopez Obrador has said that he would aim for 6 percent annual growth during his presidency and seek greater investment in the oil industry and construction.
* Lopez Obrador opposes the privatization of the state oil giant Pemex, saying that his economic policy is significantly different to those of other candidates.
* Retaining a loyal base of followers, Lopez Obrador has attacked Calderon for failing to reduce poverty and pledged to put an end to what he calls the “mafia of power” running Mexico.
Compiled by Manuel Rueda, Anahi Rama, Rachel Uranga and Dave Graham in Mexico City; Editing by Eric Walsh