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Mexico's presidential front-runner vows to uproot corruption, stabilize economy

Mexico’s presidential front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Nov. 20 promised to safeguard economic stability and boost infrastructure spending, while his aides stressed that ongoing NAFTA talks should be postponed until after next year’s election, Reuters reported.

Speaking on the anniversary of the 1910 Mexican revolution, the head of the MORENA party revealed a development plan, detailing his vision to eradicate corruption and redeploy 4.1% of Mexico’s gross domestic product to cover infrastructure and social projects with no additional taxes or increase in the debt-to-GDP ratio.

"We’re going to clean out corruption in government from top to bottom, like you clean the stairs," the candidate reportedly said.

The plan also featured such proposals as better pensions, public health services, central bank’s autonomy, reduced government spending, respect for private property rights, and universal access to public or private universities for all qualified students.

Obrador secured votes in favor of the plan from his party delegates at a packed 10,000-seat arena. He dismissed the idea of pursuing Venezuela-style socialist policies.

"Let's be very clear, we are not inspired by any foreign governments, neither Maduro nor Trump," said Obrador.

He added that he would look to have friendly ties with the U.S. but would demand respect.

Meanwhile, his aides reiterated their stance on NAFTA, saying talks should be halted until after the elections, stating that President Enrique Pena Nieto’s government lacked the legitimacy to safeguard Mexico’s interests in the negotiations.

Obrador also promised to cut down pensions that former presidents would receive, halve the presidential salary and decrease the salaries of other top officials.

"This is not revenge, it is justice," he said, according to Reuters.