Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was one of the few leaders of large countries to dig in his heels on Wednesday to congratulate Joe Biden on his election victory. He said it was too early and that his country was “not a colony”.
Lopez Obrador, who accused rivals of electoral fraud in his 2006 and 2012 presidential defeats, said he had no side in the US election and would wait for the legal challenges the Trump administration had launched over the vote to emerge.
“We cannot recognize a government that is not yet legally and legitimately constituted,” he said at a press conference. “It’s not up to us, that’s interventionism.”
Lopez Obrador congratulated the winners of the divisive 2019 presidential election in Bolivia, which were later canceled without hesitation due to irregularities. Critics claim his position on Biden does not look neutral.
US President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly threatened to hurt Mexico economically if it does not contain illegal immigration, has refused to accept defeat and has filed a lawsuit against election fraud. State officials have stated that they are not aware of any material irregularities.
Democrat Biden has passed the 270 electoral college vote threshold required to win the presidency on Saturday.
During his opposition, Lopez compared Obrador Trump to the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler and promised to put him “in his place” in his election. Since taking office almost two years ago, he has tried to avoid conflict with the American president.
His stance on the vote upset some Democrats, but Lopez Obrador insisted there would be no repercussion on Mexico.
“Because we are sticking to our policy,” he said. “Besides, we are not a colony. We are a free, independent, sovereign country. The Mexican government is not a puppet of a foreign government.”
Left-wing Lopez Obrador is part of a shrinking group of world leaders who have yet to congratulate Biden, along with right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Russian Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping.