Andrés Manuel López Obrador ( Spanish: [anˌdɾes maˈnwel ˈlopes oβɾaˈðoɾ] ; born 13 November 1953), also known as AMLO ,   is the Mexican 2018 President Elect who held the position of Head of Government of the Federal District from 2000 to 2005, before resigning in July 2005 to contend the 2006 presidential election, representing the Coalition for the Good of All, a coalition led by the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) that includes the Convergence party and the Labor Party. 
A populist,    López Obrador is the leader and founder  of the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) and was a candidate in the 2012 presidential election, representing a coalition of the PRD, Labor Party and Citizens' Movement (formerly Convergence).  He announced his resignation from the party on September 9, 2012.
Andrés Manuel López Obrador was born in Macuspana, in the southern state of Tabasco, in 1953.  He joined the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in 1976 to support Carlos Pellicer's campaign for a senate seat for Tabasco. A year later, he headed the Instituto Indigenista (Indigenous People's Institute) of his state. In 1984, he relocated to Mexico City to work at the Instituto Nacional del Consumidor (National Consumers' Institute), a Government agency.
López Obrador was president of the PRI in his home state. He resigned his post working for the government of this state in 1988 to join the new dissenting left wing of the PRI, then called the Democratic Current, led by Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas. This movement formed the National Democratic Front and later became the PRD.
In 1994, López Obrador ran for the governorship of his home state, but lost to the PRI's Roberto Madrazo in a highly controversial election  where Roberto Madrazo was questioned for his excessive expenses in political propaganda.
López Obrador gained national exposure as an advocate for the rights of indigenous people when in 1996 he appeared on national TV drenched in blood following confrontations with police force for blocking Pemex oil wells to defend the rights of local indigenous people impacted by pollution. 
López Obrador was president of the PRD from August 2, 1996 to April 10, 1999.
Head of Government of the Federal District
On July 2, 2000 he was elected Head of Government of the Federal District —a position akin to that of a city mayor, but that oversees the Federal District —after having won with 38.3% of votes.  His candidacy was contested by political opponents who claimed he was not a resident of Mexico City, but they negotiated not to make an issue of it.
During his time as Head of Government, López Obrador became one of the most recognizable politicians in Mexico. According to pollster Consulta Mitofsky, López Obrador left the Federal District government with an 84% approval rating.  According to an article by Reforma newspaper, he kept 80% of the promises he made as a candidate.  
As mayor, López Obrador implemented various social programs that included extending financial assistance to help vulnerable groups in Mexico City,   including single mothers, senior citizens and the physically and mentally challenged. He also founded the first new university in Mexico City in three decades, the Universidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de México.
He directed the restoration and modernization of Mexico City's historic downtown, which has 16th–17th century buildings and a large number of tourist attractions. He led a joint venture with Carlos Slim Helú, a native of downtown Mexico City, to expropriate, restore, rebuild and gentrify large parts of the area, creating attractive shopping and residential areas for middle and upper income residents.
López Obrador used fiscal policy to encourage private sector investment in housing.  He granted construction firms large tax breaks and changed zoning regulations to make construction projects more financially attractive. This led to the construction of more condominiums and office building during his tenure than during any other period in Mexico City history. New high density condos have emerged in the upscale neighborhoods of Polanco and Lomas. 
To improve traffic flow in the city's two main inner city roads, Periférico and Viaducto, he added sections of second stories to their existing infrastructure. The effect of this in aiding the traffic problem in Mexico City is positive, but only about 10% of the total length of those roads was renovated at a very high cost. An express bus service, the " Metrobús ", based on the successful Curitiba model, was built down Avenida Insurgentes, cutting through the city some 20 km from north to south. 
Legal and political controversies
He saw his law enforcement record stained by the lynching of federal law enforcement officers doing an undercover investigation in Tláhuac, in November 2004.  The Police of Mexico City rescued one agent.  However, the city's chief of police, Marcelo Ebrard, and the Federal Secretary of Public Safety, Ramón Martín Huerta, were both accused of not organizing a timely rescue effort. López Obrador was then severely criticized when his secretary of government, Alejandro Encinas, declared that the lynching was part of the traditions ( usos y costumbres ) of the people.   After a thorough investigation, López Obrador gave Ebrard a vote of confidence, despite a request from President Fox for López to relieve him of his duties. Later, using his constitutional powers, Fox fired Ebrard, while Martín Huerta, a member of Fox's cabinet, received a reprimand, and continued to hold the position of Secretary of Public Safety until his death in a helicopter accident.   López Obrador later appointed Ebrard as Secretary of Social Development, and supported his candidacy in the PRD primaries to run for the government of Mexico City.
The opposition claims that the ageing metro system was neglected (see Mexico City Metro). Funds assigned to its maintenance were diverted to the construction of the new upper levels of major routes in the city. In lieu of the planned subway line along Avenida Insurgentes, López's government deployed a lower-cost solution, the Metrobús, with lower capacity and cost than an underground line would have had.
Removal of immunity from prosecution
All elected government officials in Mexico, from mayors to the President, and all legislators, local and federal, have an official immunity called fuero that prevents criminal charges from being brought against them. If a person protected by fuero commits a crime, there is a process in place aimed at removing the person's immunity so that charges can be brought against such person. This process is called desafuero .
The process was kept slow, until in 2004 the Attorney General's Office asked Congress to strip López Obrador of his immunity under charges of a misdemeanor (ignoring a court order). Under federal law, any person with criminal charges during the electoral process would not be eligible to contest in a presidential election. Because of the general slowness of the judicial system, it was very likely that a process started in 2004 would continue until the presidential campaigns of 2006, and so the process of bringing López Obrador to court would have ended his ambitions of running for the presidency in 2006.
López Obrador used the moment to advance his popularity, and even put himself in a position where he was about to set foot in jail, only to be bailed out by political opponents who claimed López Obrador should follow the same judicial process as anyone else. One of the largest public marches ever seen was organized in support of López against the desafuero .
Most analysts agree that the desafuero process was politically motivated by the high approval ratings shown by López Obrador. However, analysts also agree that Lopez challenged the court to picture himself as a victim of the nomenclature and advance politically. Likewise, some newspaper editorial boards throughout the world charged that the desafuero was politically motivated (including The New York Times  and the Washington Post )  and that it should be stopped, and that excluding Obrador from the upcoming elections would delegitimize the eventual winner. Still, some analysts believed that López should have faced the force of the law, and thus becoming the only public official in Mexican history to be prosecuted (after a long tradition of impunity in government).
After congress voted in favor of removing López Obrador from immunity, López Obrador asked for leave from his post for a few days. President Vicente Fox, wanting to avoid a political cataclysm, and knowing that the decision made by the congress was against the will of millions of people,  appeared on national TV in April 2005, indicating that the issue would not be pursued any longer. The whole deal ended up closed on a technicality, and López Obrador, though without immunity, was not prosecuted (and thus remained eligible to compete in the presidential election). A few weeks later, Attorney General Rafael Macedo de la Concha resigned.
2006 general election
On July 6, 2006 the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) announced the final vote count in the 2006 presidential election, resulting in a narrow margin of 0.56 percentage points of victory for his opponent, Felipe Calderón. López Obrador appealed against the results and mobilized large protests against the election. However, on September 5, 2006, the Federal Electoral Tribunal (TEPJF) ruled that the election was fair and that Felipe Calderón was winner and would become President of Mexico. 
In contesting the election, López Obrador and his coalition made several primary arguments: (a) that President Fox, the CCE and other organizations had illegally interfered in the presidential campaign, which was strictly prohibited by Mexican electoral law,  thereby providing grounds to annul the election; that (b) that the votes were fraudulently tallied on July 2 and afterwards; and that (c) there was widespread and significant evidence of electoral irregularities, ranging from stuffed ballot boxes and inconsistent tally reports, to improper and illegal handling of the ballot trail and voter intimidation.
Some media believed that López Obrador and his party failed to present sufficient proof of the supposed fraud. Other media believed that López Obrador did present sufficient evidence, and that the Court's decision was flawed or corrupt.
The Court did find that President Fox, and the CCE, a business interest group, had interfered in the elections in the form of campaigning for a given candidate, which is against campaign laws. However, the TEPJF determined that it was not possible to accurately evaluate the influence this interference had on the election results, but estimated the impact of Fox's interference as insignificant to the results of the election. The Tribunal stated that, similarly, it could not gauge the impact of CCE's interference.
Consequently, the Court ruled that both interferences could not be considered as a sufficient judicial cause to annul the election. In reference to the allegations of fraud, the Court similarly found that there was insufficient evidence to annul the election.  
López Obrador and his coalition had alleged irregularities in a large number of polling stations and demanded a national recount. Ultimately the electoral tribunal (TEPJF), in a unanimous vote, ordered a recount of only about 9% of the polling stations.  The Supreme Court later ruled that the evidence presented did not demonstrate that sufficient fraud had occurred, to change the outcome of the election.
In response to this result, in a move reminiscent of Madero's response to Diaz, Obrador's followers proclaimed him the "Legitimate President," inaugurated him in a ceremony in the Zocalo, and formed an alternative, parallel government.
In September 2005, López Obrador was nominated as presidential pre-candidate for the PRD for the 2006 general election after the "moral leader" of the party, Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, declined to participate in the internal elections when polls showed López Obrador had 90% party support.
Until March 2006 he was considered the presidential front runner by the majority of polls; however, polls in late April showed decline in López Obrador's numbers. 
López Obrador was criticized by some left-wing politicians and analysts for including in his close staff many former members of the PRI who actively fought against his party in the 1980s and 1990s,  most notably Arturo Núñez (one of the authors of a contingency fund created to resolve liquidity problems of the banking system),  Manuel Camacho Solís and Marcelo Ebrard. The guerrilla leader of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), Subcomandante Marcos, openly declared López Obrador to be a false left-wing candidate, arguing that he is a centrist candidate. The "moral leader" and founder of the PRD, Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, did not participate in any campaign events, but stated that he would still vote for his party, the PRD.
López Obrador's proposals, including his 50 commitments , produced mixed opinions from analysts. The Washington Post ran a news article indicating that López Obrador used U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt as inspiration for his 50 commitments. 
On May 19, Roberto Madrazo, presidential candidate for the PRI, considered by all polls to be in a distant third place, hinted at the possibility of an alliance with López Obrador to prevent Calderón from winning the election,   after both the parties had criticized the government for what, in their opinion, is supposed illegal support by the federal government for the National Action Party (PAN) candidate's campaigning. The PRD has said that both parties have entered into an information sharing agreement regarding the issue.   This, combined with calls from high ranking PRI member Manuel Bartlett (former interior secretary when the alleged 1988 presidential election fraud was committed) to vote for López,  aroused media speculation that the PRI and the PRD would indeed ally.
On May 28, after López Obrador had discounted any such alliance because the PRI and PRD political tendencies cannot be conciliated,  Roberto Madrazo indicated that his comments were misunderstood, and that he will not step down nor will he endorse another candidate.   On July 6, 2006, Felipe Calderón was recognized as the winner of the presidential election by a narrow margin of 243,934 votes, though the claim is disputed by López Obrador, who claims there were widespread irregularities in the vote and wants every single vote recounted  (A generalized recount is only legal in extreme circumstances according to Mexican Electoral Tribunal Jurisprudence S3ELJ14-2004  ). On July 8, 2006, López Obrador called for nationwide protests to ask for a recount of all votes, stating that "the government would be responsible for any flare-up of anger after officials rejected his demand for a manual recount of Sunday's extremely close vote." 
López Obrador announced his victory to his supporters on the night of the election day stating that according to exit polls he had won by 500,000 votes. He did not cite any polls at the time,  later he referenced Covarrubias  and IMO.  Several days later, the Federal Electoral Institute published its final tally, which had him down by a margin of 0.58%, or approximately 243,000 votes. López Obrador then initiated legal challenges, claiming election irregularities in 54% of polling stations, and demanded publicly the votes to be recounted "vote by vote" in all polling stations. The case was discussed by the Federal Electoral Tribunal (TEPJF) and finally dismissed.
While the case was discussed in the Electoral Tribunal, the IFE has called for the candidates to refrain from proclaiming themselves as winner, president-elect, or president until the final resolution was taken. Both candidates disobeyed this call. In an interview by U.S. Spanish-language TV network Univisión, López referred to himself as "President of Mexico".  
López Obrador held several gatherings in downtown Mexico City with hundreds of thousands of people attending, pressuring for a "vote for vote" general recount. On July 31, in an act of civil disobedience, he organized the blocking of 12 kilometers of one of the most important roads in the capital, Paseo de la Reforma, which houses several important hotels, corporate main offices and the Mexico City Stock Market.  Business groups said the blockades cost Mexico City businesses located near the areas of conflict daily losses of 350,000,000 Mexican pesos (about US$35 million).  In order to compensate, they have asked the Government of Mexico City to exempt them from paying taxes this year.
On Saturday August 5, the TEPJF met in public session to decide the outcome of the complaints the PRD and its coalition partners filed. The seven magistrates voted unanimously to order the recount of 11,839 ballot boxes in 155 districts (9.2% of the total), despite López's public demand that all votes and ballot boxes be recounted.  The TEPJF based its decision of a partial recount on its finding that, despite publicly demanding a vote-by-vote general recount, López Obrador's party filed legal challenges to 71,000 polling stations (54%). Therefore, by law, the TEPJF found it could order a recount of only those 71,000 polling stations in controversy. The TEPJF ruled that it could not order a recount of the votes not in controversy because "the certainty asked by the [López Obrador] Coalition is tied to the respect for the tallies certified by the citizens in the polling stations not in controversy". However, the TEPJF did certify that principles of certainty in elections were grounds for a recount in some of the stations in controversy, since there was evidence of possible irregularities. 
López Obrador rejected the resolution as narrow and he and his followers thus intensified their civil resistance. For about two hours on August 9, protesters took over the tollbooths on four federal highways. These roads link Mexico City to Cuernavaca, Querétaro, Toluca, and Pachuca. The protesters prevented personnel from charging tolls in some of these roads and allowed vehicles to pass freely. Also, hundreds of López supporters surrounded four of the main offices of foreign banks, including Citibank's Banamex, BBVA's Bancomer, and the Mexican subsidiary of HSBC, closing them for about four hours, claiming that the foreign banks "ransack the country" and "widen the barrier between rich and poor" and because, supposedly, these banks had participated in the politics of the country supporting the PAN candidate Felipe Calderón.  
On August 8 López Obrador sent a message to the press, regarding the blockades, where he explained to the people, "10 reasons" in which he stands to continue the "peaceful civil resistance". 
López Obrador held a rally, which he called a "National Democratic Convention", on September 16, Independence Day, when a military parade was also scheduled to be held. The "democratic convention" started after the military parade.
Claiming that all Mexican institutions are linked and protect each other, López Obrador said that the country's institutions "no longer work" and called for the creation of new ones.  He was quoted saying "the big changes in Mexico have never been produced through conventional politics, but in the streets". Some have understood this as a call for revolution.
López Obrador led a rally on the day of the state of the union speech, where sympathizers celebrated the President being prevented from delivering his speech inside congress.  They claimed that the President "had created a police state" in the area around the Congress building and interpreted it as a violation of the Constitution that made it impossible for Congress to be called into session, and thereby enabling Fox to address the chamber.  He explicitly told his followers not to be lured into violent confrontations, declaring, "We aren't going to fall into any trap. We aren't going to be provoked".  He also asked his followers to remain in the Zócalo, instead of marching to the legislative palace, the site of the state of the union speech, as had been planned.
According to a poll published on December 1, 2006 in El Universal, 42% believe that Calderón's victory was fraudulent, and 46% believe that it was not. 
On November 20, 2006, Mexican Revolution day, López Obrador's sympathizers proclaimed him "Legitimate President" in a rally at the Zócalo in Mexico City, though no formal poll was taken.  The action was planned in another rally, the "National Democratic Convention", in which supporters gave him the title. At the Convention, López Obrador called for the establishment of a parallel government and shadow cabinet. He also advocated the abolition or reform of several institutions, alleging they are spoiled and corrupt, and asked for changes to the constitution to ensure the institutions work "for the people", and provide welfare and assistance to the elderly and other vulnerable groups.
After his supporters proclaimed him as "Legitimate President of Mexico",  López created a "Cabinet of Denunciation" to counter all moves done by President Felipe Calderón. It is expected that this " alternative cabinet " be used as a pressure mechanism to the initiatives of the government. 
- Foster a process of renewal for public institutions
- Defend the right to information and demand openness of communication media
- Attend the migration issues of Mexico, insisting in changing the economic policies of Mexico to increase employment, and oppose the border fence the US plans to build at the Mexico border
- Denounce injustices and watch public servants, and demand the destitution of Ulises Ruiz and the removal of federal forces from Oaxaca
- Send legislators from his coalition an initiative to make corruption a constitutional crime, and to diminish the salaries of public servants.
- Not to increase tax rates for the poor.
- Press for the formation of a public budget and demand more resources for agriculture.
- An initiative to Senators from his coalition for a law that controls the prices of goods and services.
- Creation of a "commission for the truth" to investigate the Fobaproa and watch over the construction of federal public works.
- Protectionist measures for national producers.
- Defend the constitutional right for a "just" and "dignified" salary.
- Legally protect the black market from the economy.
- Defend the autonomy and democratization of unions, and not allow the privatization of the energy sector.
- Protect Mexico's natural resources and archaeological sites.
- Fight for subsidies to senior citizens, and other minorities.
- Promote in Congress a welfare state.
- Support for the San Andrés Larráinzar accords with the EZLN.
- Indiscriminately accept all youth into public education institutions.
- Guarantee access to public health services.
- Expand public services into the slums.
Reactions to the "Legitimate Presidency"
Reactions to López Obrador's "legitimate presidency" varied widely. An opinion by El País said that López Obrador's "lack of consideration to democratic institutions and rule of law seriously endanger civil peace in Mexico".  After speculation of whether or not López Obrador's self-proclamation was against the law, the PRI stated that this political action is not a crime.  Liébano Sáenz, chief of staff of former President Ernesto Zedillo, stated that López Obrador "will become the conscience of the nation, which will do much good for Mexican democracy.  Raúl Vera López, Roman Catholic bishop of Saltillo, Coahuila, declared that López Obrador's so called "legitimate presidency" is a result of the "profound discontent with how the country has been run," and that Obrador had "very deep moral backing." 
A poll conducted by Grupo Reforma indicated that 56% of Mexicans disapproved of López taking the title, while only 19% approve. Sixty-three percent of those polled have also said that the former candidate has lost credibility. Other responses in the poll include 82% describing the political atmosphere in Mexico as "tense", and 45% of the polled blaming it on the PRD, with only 20% blaming it on the PAN, and 25% blaming both parties. (The poll was a telephone survey of 850 adults on November 18 with 95% confidence interval of +/-3.4% margin of error.). 
In the first few months of his term, President Calderón's announced initiatives that mirrored those of Obrador. These included price ceilings for tortillas,  in the form of a " Tortilla Price Stabilization Pact ", that protect local producers of corn, a Presidential Decree limiting the President's salary and that of cabinet ministers, and a proposal for a constitutional amendment that, if passed, would significantly lower salaries for all public servants, and impose caps on compensation.  These measures have been interpreted by some as actions "seeking to fulfill a campaign promise to incorporate the agenda of election rival Andrés Manuel López Obrador into his government".,  by others as actions designed to undercut the opposition government.
Influence in the 2008 PRD elections
In 2008, the PRD held elections to renew its leadership. López Obrador's candidate, Alejandro Encinas Rodríguez was opposed by Jesús Ortega. Allegations of fraud by both factions halted recounts and raised doubts about the legitimacy of the election. Media figures commented that, while López Obrador had used phrases such as "fraud", "illegitimacy", "corruption", etc. in the 2006 Mexican elections, the same phrases were now used to describe the PRD's election, and many feared that, no matter what the outcome, there would be a "legitimate" and a "spurious" President inside the Party.  According to exit polls conducted by Mitofsky and IMO, Encinas won by 5% and 8% points, respectively. 
Occupation of Congress
The Mexican Congress was also taken by legislators of the Broad Progressive Front (FAP), the PRD, Labor and Convergence parties, on April 10, 2008 because of their disagreement with the Mexican Government regarding energy policy discussions, claiming they violated the Constitution. López Obrador's followers took both Houses of the Congress and had them chained so nobody could enter, thus avoiding the approval of secondary laws which modified the legal framework of the Mexican national oil company, Pemex.  Chairs and tables were used as barricades. López Obrador requested a 4-month long debate on energy policies and not a 50-day debate presented by the PAN, PRI, Green Party and New Alliance. 
2012 presidential campaign
In 2012, Obrador was again the candidate of the PRD for President.
In November 2011, López Obrador announced some of his economic proposals: 
- Job creation. A sustained 6% growth rate to generate the new 1.2 million jobs needed each year.
- Austerity. Reducing salaries (of government officials) and unnecessary spending, saving around $30 billion USD a year.
- Progressive fiscal reforms. The people who make less money should pay a smaller percentage of taxes than those making more money.
- No new taxes and no increment of existing taxes. He plans to focus on ending fiscal privileges.
- Competition. End monopolies, any private citizen who wants to participate in media, television, telephony, should be able to.
López Obrador announced a tentative cabinet. Among them were: 
- Marcelo Ebrard as Secretary of the Interior.
- Rogelio Ramirez de la O as Secretary of the Treasury.
- Juan Ramon de la Fuente as Secretary of Education.
- Claudia Sheinbaum as Secretary of the Environment.
- Javier Jimenez Espiru as Secretary of Communications and Transportation.
- Fernando Turner as Secretary of Economic Development.
- Adolfo Hellmund Lopez as Secretary of Energy.
- René Drucker Colín as Secretary of Science and Technology
- Elena Poniatowska as Secretary of Culture.
López Obrador had been a firm critic of Felipe Calderón's military approach, and promised a further application of the law, proposing to take care of the victims of the Mexican Drug War and an emphasis on the protection of human rights in the country.  He proposed a single police command that would gradually assume the activities of the Mexican Navy and the Mexican Army, as well as a single intelligence agency to tackle the financial networks of the Mexican criminal organizations.  The new police force would promote "civic and moral values." He said that he was committed to increase the salaries and benefits given to law enforcement officials throughout Mexico. His security strategy was composed of ten proposals, but all of them had a major theme: organized crime cannot be tackled if the government is responsible for the "erosion of human rights." 
He also stated that if he elected, he would firmly reject any intelligence activity from the United States, including money and weapons in aid. This policy would put a stop to the operations in Mexico of the Central Intelligence Agency and the Drug Enforcement Administration, including the use of unmanned drones.  But it could also discourage U.S. aid to Mexico ($1.6 billion since 2008).
López Obrador promised to reactivate the economy and social growth so more Mexicans could have access to a "better life" without having to join the cartels and abandon the rule of law.  He also pledged to improve Mexico's educational system and create more jobs before the criminal groups have a chance to recruit them.  He also spoke of putting an end to corruption, impunity, drug consumption and addiction, and to the great privileges of the elite few.  The security Cabinet that he proposed was to work directly with the municipal and state forces in a unified command. 
López Obrador summed up his security policy as "Abrazos, no balazos." (Hugs, not bullets).  At the start of his campaign, he said that he would remove Army personnel from the streets, but then said in May 2012 that he would use the military until Mexico has a "trained, skilled and moralized police force." 
|Enrique Peña Nieto||Institutional Revolutionary Party||18,727,398||38.15 |
|Andrés Manuel López Obrador||Party of the Democratic Revolution||15,535,117||31.64|
|Josefina Vázquez Mota||National Action Party||12,473,106||25.40|
|Gabriel Quadri de la Torre||New Alliance Party||1,129,108||2.36|
|Source: (98.95% of polling stations reporting)|
The election was won by Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, with 38.2%, to 31.6% for Obrador. Obrador did not accept the preliminary results, as a majority of votes had yet to be counted. 
The IFE found some irregularities, but confirmed the results on 6 July. Obrador rejected this announcement, and on 12 July filed a complaint for invalidation of the election. He alleged vote-buying, spending in excess of election regulations, illegal fund raising, and vote fraud. But on 30 August, the Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judiciary rejected Obrador's complaint.
Peña Nieto re-paid gift cards vote buyout controversy
At a news conference, the leftist candidate claimed that the election was "plagued with irregularities" and accused the PRI of buying votes.  He also claims that the PRI handed out gifts to lure voters to cast their vote in favor of them.  Soriana is a Wal-Mart -style chain of megastores, operating 500 grocery stores around Mexico. During the day of the 2012 presidential elections, people who voted for the PRI would receive pre-paid gift cards. Nonetheless, the PRI and the store denied such accusation  and threatened to sue López Obrador.  Peña Nieto vowed to imprison anyone – including members of the PRI – if they are found guilty of electoral fraud.  Despite Peña Nieto's statement many videos by citizens about the Soriana cards surfaced on YouTube.  
López Obrador told a rally in Mexico City's main plaza Zocalo on 9 September 2012 that he would withdraw from the Democratic Revolution Party "on the best of terms," as well as the Labor Party and Citizens' Movement. He added that he was working on founding a new party from the Movement for National Regeneration.